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Potato – with a Bengali Accent


Traditional Bengali cuisine uses Mustard Oil not just as a cooking medium but also as a taste agent. The recipe in today’s post uses Mustard Oil to create a unique flavour – along with Poppy Seeds (called Posto in Bengal). This dish is known as Aloo Posto (Potatoes with Poppy Seeds).

The ingredients that you will need for making this dish are:

  1. Potatoes: 1 Kg, small (baby potatoes), peeled

  2. Poppy Seeds (Posto): 50 gram

  3. Mustard Oil: 2 tablespoon

  4. Nigella Seeds (Kalonji): 1 teaspoon

  5. Sugar: Half a teaspoon

  6. Green Chilli: 2, slit along their length

  7. Turmeric (Haldi) Powder: Half a teaspoon

  8. Salt: to taste

Preparation: Take a bowl of hot water and soak the poppy seeds for at least two hours. After two hours, place the poppy seeds in a blender along with 4 or 5 tablespoons of the water (used for soaking) and grind to a paste. Keep aside.

Method: Heat the Mustard Oil in a pan with the flame set on Medium. Add the Nigella Seeds and Green Chilies and saute for 10 seconds or so. Then add the potatoes and continue frying, stirring the potatoes to mix them well with the Nigella Seeds and the Mustard Oil. Fry for around 5 minutes and then add the Turmeric Powder. Stir well to mix in the turmeric.

Place a lid on the pan and let the mixture cook for around 5 minutes. Now remove the lid and add the Poppy Seeds and stir thoroughly, ensuring that all the potatoes get a coating of poppy seed paste.

Next, add around 150 ml of water and the salt. Bring the mixture to a boil and then put the lid back on the pan. Let the contents simmer for around 15 minutes. Intermittently, remove the lid, give the contents a good stir and replace the lid.

Finally, add the sugar and let the mixture simmer for another two to three minutes. The poppy seed paste should form a thick creamy gravy. If it becomes too dry, you can add some more water.

Your Bengali style Aloo Posto is now ready. Serve it hot with roti or puri – or as a side dish with steaming hot rice.

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