Aloo Posto: Poppy Seed Spiced Potatoes

28 Jul

Aloo Posto

Aloo posto is a popular Bengali dish – potatoes cooked in poppy seed paste, served with pooris or plain boiled rice. This delicately flavored curry gets its spice kick from two other trademark Bengali ingredients – mustard oil and panch phoron.

Aloo Posto - Bengali Potato Curry

Poppy seeds are rich in minerals and contain fine oils – when soaked and ground, these tiny seeds lend a fragrant nuttiness to potatoes.

A meal of rice and aloo posto – comfort food at its best.

Aloo Posto: Poppy Seed Spiced Potatoes

You Need:

  • Potatoes – 4 medium-sized
  • White poppy seeds – 2 tablespoons
  • Green chilies – 2
  • Turmeric powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Salt – to taste
  • Panch phoron – 1 teaspoon
  • Mustard oil – 2 teaspoons

How To Make Aloo Posto:

Soak the poppy seeds in half a cup of water for an hour. Throw away the excess water and transfer the soaked poppy seeds to a grinder. Grind the poppy seeds to paste.[1]

When poppy seeds are done, add the green chilies and grind again.

White Poppy Seeds, Soaked and Ground Green Chili and Poppy Seed Paste

Boil the potatoes – up to one whistle on high flame in a pressure cooker. Allow to cool to room temperature. If you have some boiled potatoes in the fridge already, perfect – potatoes retain their shape better if they’re cool when they go into this dish.

Boiled Potatoes, Unpeeled

Cut the potatoes into about 2-cm pieces.

Boiled Potatoes, Peeled and Cubed

Heat the mustard oil in a pan to smoking point. Splutter panch phoron, wait for a few seconds (till the methi seeds turn brown) and then add the poppy seed-green chili paste. Cook for 4 minutes, stirring to make sure that the paste does not stick to the pan.

Mix turmeric powder, cook for another minute, then add half a cup of water and salt.

Poppy Seed Paste, Cooking

Now tip in the potato cubes – mix gently to coat the potatoes with the masala taking care not to mash the potatoes.

Potatoes Cooking with Poppy Seed Paste

Stirring occasionally, cook covered for ten minutes till the dish is dry and the potatoes are well-coated with the poppy seed masala.

Aloo posto is ready to eat.

Aloo Posto - Potatoes Poppy Seed Curry

Serve aloo posto hot with pooris or boiled rice and dal.

Aloo Posto: Poppy Seed Spiced Potatoes

Notes:

[1] Making poppy seed paste takes about six cycles of open-lid-turn-insides-around in my grinder – poppy seeds don’t offer themselves easily to being turned to paste. A mortar and pestle would do a better job, I guess.

2 Responses to “Aloo Posto: Poppy Seed Spiced Potatoes”

  1. Tadka Pasta July 30, 2011 at 10:53 AM #

    Yep, those tiny things do not like to be ground up. I like to crack them up a bit in a coffee grinder. Your curry is beautiful! Love this Bengali fave.

    • S August 1, 2011 at 7:55 PM #

      Thanks! It’s a favorite of mine too.

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