“Aloo Posto,” A Classic Potato-Poppy Seed Preparation (Recipe)
One of the greatest Bengali foods, ‘Aloo Posto,’ or potato cooked with poppy seeds, is a delicious, light, healthy vegan dish that you can’t help but cook again and again. I grew up eating it at least twice a week. Poppy seeds are rich in calcium, vitamins, and fiber. This simple recipe is straight out of my grandma’s cookbook!
Ingredients For Aloo Posto
Before you get cooking you should know that most classical Bengali cuisine is made with mustard oil. Partly because of taste, but also due to health benefits, regional weather conditions and availability. Therefore, for this recipe, it is recommended to stick with mustard oil. Mustard oil has a distinct pungency, which enhances the dish’s flavor. Another aspect of this dish (that you’ll skip) is the homemade poppy seed paste made using a pestle and mortar. A mixer grinder should do here.
Potatoes- 500 gms; peeled and cut into small cubes
Mustard oil- 60 gm for cooking and garnishing
Slit green chilies- 3 whole
Green chili paste- 1 teaspoon
Poppy seed paste- 50 gms soaked and ground
Cashew paste- 1 ½ teaspoon
Onion/ nigella seeds- 1/4th teaspoon for tempering
1 whole dry red chili for tempering
Turmeric powder- a pinch (Optional, but traditionally included)
- Heat mustard oil in a pan. Once the oil is pale yellow in color, add the onion seed, turmeric, green chili paste and temper it until the chili turns brown (be careful not to burn your fingers as oil splatters during this stage, also protect your eyes).
- Add the cubed potatoes and fry on medium heat. Keep stirring to avoid coloring the potatoes.
- Once the potatoes are 90% done, add the poppy seed paste and keep mixing. Add a dash of water to allow the paste mix properly.
- Cook on low heat initially to let the paste cook. After it releases oil, add the slit green chilies, salt and sugar.
- Stir for another five minutes until the potatoes are cooked. Turn down the heat and add another drizzle of mustard oil (not too much) and cover it for 10 minutes without heat.
- Serve hot with rice and enjoy the delicious recipe.
This truly traditional Bengali recipe has delighted people across the world. Let me know how you liked your version in the comments below.
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