Take a Bong (Bengalis as they are colloquially known) and ask him his favourite vegetarian dish, though it might take him a while as we Bengalis are spoiled for choice, I am pretty sure Aloo Posto ( Potato with poppy seeds ) will definitely make it on to that list..
Next only to Fish curry and rice, Aloo Posto and daal are quite a hot favourite with us Bengalis.. Simple, flavour-full and what I like to call comfort food.. On a hot summer day in Kolkata, after a nice bath all you need is a plate full of rice, some daal (lentils) and lots of aloo posto and you are good for a long siesta..
Now this dish is very simple, everyday kitchen cupboard ingredients, but the tricky part is getting the poppy seed paste to the right consistency, too much or too little water can unsettle the delicate balance..
- Potato-5-6 medium sized peeled amd cubed
- Nigella seeds (kalo jeera) -1 table spoon
- Poppy Seeds-4 table spoons
- Green chilly- 2-3
- Dried red chillies -3-4
- Mustard Oil- 3 table spoons
- Salt as per taste
- Water-6-7 spoons
Take the poppy seeds and leave them in half a cup of water for about 15 mins. Then drain it and add to the blender along with 5-6 table spoons of water. Grind it into a paste of medium consistency and make sure it is not left watery.
Next peel the potatoes and dice them to medium cubes. Heat the oil in a wok or kadhai and when it starts to smoke add the nigella seeds and temper for about a min or so and then add the red chillies. Once fused throw in the potatoes. Gently saute them till they soften and turn golden brown. Make sure they do not burn.
Now add the poppy seed paste and gently coat the potatoes, now here you could add turmeric powder (a pinch) but I like mine white. Finally, add half a cup of water and salt and let it cook for another 10-12 mins. Your potatoes should be ready by now. Garnish with green chillies and serve with rice..
A well deserved siesta is guaranteed to follow……..