Welcome to my kitchen, friends! Today, I want to share with you one of my all-time favorite Bengali dishes: Aloo Posto, or potatoes cooked with poppy seeds. This dish is a staple in traditional Bengali cuisine and has been enjoyed by generations.
Aloo Posto is simple yet bursting with flavor. The subtle nuttiness of the white poppy seeds combined with the spiced kick of red chilies creates a perfect balance that will leave your taste buds wanting more. It’s a vegetarian side dish that can be paired with any main course or eaten on its own as a light meal.
The dish’s name is derived from two words: aloo, which means potatoes in Hindi, and posto, which is the Bengali word for white poppy seeds. The combination of these two ingredients produces a unique taste that sets this recipe apart from any other potato-based dish you may have tried before.
In this article, I will guide you through the step-by-step process of making authentic Bengali Aloo Posto. You don’t need any fancy equipment or exotic ingredients to create this flavorful dish right at home. Plus, I’ll be sharing some substitutions and variations for those who want to put their own spin on the recipe.
So, grab your aprons and let’s get cooking! I promise this Aloo Posto recipe will not disappoint.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Are you looking for a dish that’s both comforting and exciting at the same time? Look no further than this Indian Bengali Potatoes With Poppy Seeds, also known as Aloo Posto. Trust me, you’re going to love this dish.
First of all, potatoes are always a source of comfort food. They’re filling and soothing, making them perfect for any meal. But this recipe elevates the humble potato to a whole new level by adding in poppy seeds. The white poppy seeds used in this recipe add a nutty and fragrant flavor that will awaken your senses in the best way possible.
But what really stands out about this Aloo Posto recipe is the combination of spices used. A mix of red chili powder, ground turmeric, and salt gives the potatoes just enough heat and flavor without being overpowering. And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can add some hot green chili peppers or red chilies for an extra kick.
The preparation of this dish is simple but satisfying. All you need to do is blend together the poppy seed paste with some spices and water, before cooking the potatoes in this sauce until they’re nice and tender. The end result is a brilliantly spiced side dish that pairs well with any meal.
And if you’re worried about making substitutions or variations due to dietary restrictions or personal preferences, don’t sweat it. This recipe is versatile enough to handle any changes you may need to make while still keeping its delicious flavor intact.
In fact, I’m confident that once you try this Aloo Posto recipe, it will become a staple in your kitchen. It’s a traditional Bengali recipe that never gets old, and once you taste the magic of potatoes cooked in spiced poppy seeds paste, you’ll understand why it’s such a classic!
Here’s a list of ingredients you’ll need to make Indian Bengali Potatoes with Poppy Seeds (Aloo Posto) recipe:
- 500 g potatoes, cut small cubes, cooked
- 50 g posto (white poppy seeds)
- 2 tsp red chili powder
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- Salt to taste
- 4-5 hot green chili peppers
- Oil for frying
- Water for soaking
- For the poppy seed paste: 2 tbsp khus khus (white poppy seeds) soaked in water for an hour or two
- For the tempering: Mustard oil and red chilies
All these ingredients are easily accessible at your local grocery stores, especially the potatoes and turmeric which are widely available. As for the poppy seeds or posto, it should be available at any Indian grocery store. Make sure you soak them in water properly so they grind into a fine paste.
The Recipe How-To
Now that you have gathered all the ingredients, it’s time to start cooking Aloo Posto. This dish is quite easy to prepare and doesn’t require much of your time.
Step 1: Prepare the Potatoes
Start by washing and peeling 500 g potatoes. Cut them into small cubes and keep them aside.
Step 2: Making Poppy Seed Paste
The star ingredient of this dish is the poppy seeds or khus khus, which gives a nutty flavor to the curry. Heat a dry pan and roast 50 g poppy seeds until lightly toasted. Soak them in water for about an hour and then blend them into a fine paste.
Step 3: Sauté the Potatoes
Heat 2 tbsp mustard oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add ½ tsp red chili powder and ½ tsp ground turmeric to it. Saute for a minute.
Add the cubed potatoes to it and cover with a lid. Cook on medium-low heat until they are tender.
Step 4: Add Poppy Seeds Sauce
Uncover the skillet, add the prepared poppy seed paste, and mix well with the potatoes. Add salt to taste and cook for another five minutes until the potatoes are coated with the poppy seed sauce.
Step 5: Finish and Serve
Take it off from heat, garnish with chopped cilantro leaves, and serve hot with rice or Indian flatbread.
Congratulations! You just made a delicious Bengali Aloo Posto that can impress anyone who tastes it.
Substitutions and Variations
If you’re looking to add some variation to your Aloo Posto recipe, here are some substitutions and variations that you can try:
– Spiciness level: This recipe calls for hot green chili peppers and red chili powder. If you prefer a milder version, you can reduce the amount of chili peppers or omit them altogether.
– Potatoes substitution: While traditional Bengali Aloo Posto is made with small potatoes, you can also use baby potatoes or even regular potatoes cut into small cubes.
– Poppy seed substitution: White poppy seeds (khus khus) are commonly used in this recipe, but if you can’t find them, you can substitute for black poppy seeds or even sesame seeds.
– Oil substitution: The traditional oil used in this recipe is mustard oil, but if you don’t have access to it, you can use vegetable oil or any other cooking oil.
– Vegan variation: This recipe is naturally vegan, but if you want to add some protein to it, you can add some tofu cubes or chickpeas.
– Posto-alu bharta variation: Another popular Bengali dish called Posto-alu bharta is made with mashed potatoes instead of potato cubes. To make this variation, boil and mash the potatoes and stir in the spiced poppy seed sauce.
Remember, these are just a few ideas to get creative with your Aloo Posto recipe. Don’t be afraid to experiment by adding your own twist on this classic Bengali dish!
Serving and Pairing
Once you have cooked this delectable dish, you may be wondering what to serve it with. For a traditional Bengali meal, Aloo Posto is often served as a side dish to steamed rice or Luchi (deep-fried flatbreads). You can also pair it with some Raita (yogurt-based side dish) or salad for a refreshing contrast of flavors.
However, Aloo Posto can also be enjoyed on its own as a main dish. The spiced poppy seed sauce tastes fantastic when combined with mashed potatoes! Add some green peas or chickpeas for added texture and protein.
To make the meal more substantial, you can serve Aloo Posto with chicken or shrimp curry. Pickles and chutneys would be an excellent accompaniment to balance out the spiciness of the dish.
For beverages, try pairing Aloo Posto with some sweet Lassi or Masala Chai to help cool down your taste buds. If you’re looking for something with a bit more kick to it, grab a cold beer or glass of Chardonnay!
Overall, this versatile dish can work well as a side or main; it all depends on what you fancy! Experimenting and discovering new flavor combinations will undoubtedly make cooking Bengali cuisine enjoyable and worthwhile.
Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating
Let’s face it, cooking can be a time-consuming task. Sometimes, the best way to make things easier for ourselves is by making our food in advance or storing it for later. In this case, the Bengali Aloo Posto recipe offers some excellent make-ahead and storing options.
If you want to make this dish ahead of time, you can cook the potatoes and prepare the poppy seed paste in advance. Once done, store the potatoes and paste separately in airtight containers inside your refrigerator.
After a day or two, when you’re ready to serve, all you need to do is combine these two ingredients and heat them up on a stove over medium heat or on a microwave-safe dish. This way, you save yourself precious time and still get to enjoy an authentic Bengali recipe without sacrificing its taste.
When it comes to storing leftovers, Aloo Posto stores incredibly well. The best way to store it is by keeping it in an airtight container inside your refrigerator for up to four days. Doing so would allow the flavors of the spices and herbs to intermingle further leading to an even richer dish when reheated.
When it’s time for reheating, add a few teaspoons of water before doing so in either your oven or microwave with intervals stirring every 30 seconds. Chose your desired texture: soft mashed potatoes or firm potato cubes cooked under slightly spiced poppy seeds sauce.
Once again, ensure not to overheat your meal since it could lead to dryness and mushiness. Don’t worry about not finishing what you’ve made as I doubt that will happen! In fact, tastes better after reheating by absorbing all those flavors!
Overall, traditional Bengali cuisine teaches us never to throw away our leftovers; instead, we should cook them into something delicious the next day. And with this Aloo Posto recipe’s fantastic storing and reheating features, making it ahead of time or reheating leftover become worry-free tasks without compromising its taste!
Tips for Perfect Results
To ensure that your Bengali Aloo Posto recipe comes out perfectly every time, there are a few tips and tricks to keep in mind. Here are some suggestions that will help you take your cooking game to the next level.
1. Choose the right potatoes
When selecting potatoes for your Aloo Posto dish, it’s essential to pick the right variety. I recommend using small waxy potatoes, such as Red Bliss or Yukon Gold. These types of potatoes hold their shape well when cooked, making them an excellent choice for this recipe.
2. Don’t skimp on the poppy seed paste
The paste made from ground poppy seeds is what gives this dish its unique flavor and texture. Be sure to grind the seeds into a fine paste, which can be done easily in a food processor or blender. Using white poppy seeds is preferred but black ones can also work.
3. Adjust the spice level
The level of heat in this dish can be customized to suit your preferences. If you prefer more spicy heat, add extra hot green chili peppers or red chili powder with caution. If you’re not a fan of spiciness, reduce the number of chili peppers or leave them out altogether.
4. Cook the potatoes just right
For perfect results, make sure to cook potatoes in a deep skillet or pot until they are soft but not mushy. Undercooking may result in hard potatoes while overcooking can cause them to become mushy and fall apart.
5. Use mustard oil for authentic flavor
Mustard oil is used traditionally used in authentic Bengali cuisine and adds a unique nutty touch to the dish. It can be found at specialty stores or online markets and gives this recipe a great depth of flavor.
By following these tips, you’ll be able to create an authentic taste of Bengal right in your own kitchen with flavorful Aloo Posto every time!
Now that we have covered all the essential aspects of this dish, it’s time to address some frequently asked questions. While making Aloo Posto may seem like a daunting task, with some guidance and the right ingredients, you’ll find that it’s quite easy to prepare. In this section, I will answer some common queries from aspiring home cooks. So, let’s dive in!
Is posto and poppy seeds same?
Poppy Seeds, also known as Posto, come from the Opium Poppy plant and hold a special place in Bengali cuisine.
What is posto in Bengali to english?
This recipe is a classic Bengali dish called Aloo Posto made with potatoes and a paste of poppy seeds, known locally as posto or post-dana. It’s a simple yet delicious side that is easy to prepare.
How do you make a posto?
Firstly, begin by soaking a quantity of 3 tablespoons of white poppy seeds in a quarter cup of water. Leave the seeds to soak throughout the night, and then proceed to strain and remove all of the excess water by utilizing a fine mesh strainer. After this step, the resulting seeds should be added into a chutney grinder. To the ground, use 1 green chili and 1 tablespoon of water to enhance the texture of the mixture. Finally, grind everything together until a fine paste is formed.
What does the word posto stand for in aloo posto?
The recipe calls for 500 grams of potatoes and 50 grams of posto, also known as poppy seeds.
If you have never tried Indian Bengali Potatoes with Poppy Seeds before, this recipe is the perfect opportunity to enjoy a delicious and authentic Bengali dish. The creamy yet spiced poppy seed sauce pairs perfectly with the soft and tender potato cubes, creating a unique and unforgettable flavor profile.
Whether you are cooking for yourself or a group of friends, this recipe is sure to impress. With simple steps and easy-to-find ingredients, you can recreate this classic Bengali dish in no time.
So why not step out of your comfort zone and try something new today? With the help of this recipe, you can experience the rich and diverse food culture of India’s West Bengal region right in your own kitchen.
I hope that my tips, recommendations, and instructions will help you achieve perfect results and create an inviting side dish that will delight your taste buds. Don’t forget to share this recipe with others so they too can enjoy the magic of Indian cuisine.
Indian Bengali Potatoes With Poppy Seeds (Aloo Posto) Recipe
- 6 small potatoes, firm (1 1/2 lb/700g)
- 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3 whole red chilies
- 1/2 cup white poppy seeds, ground (2 oz/50g)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric (2.5 ml)
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon red chili powder (cayenne pepper)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 fresh hot green chili peppers
- Grind poppy seeds as finely as possible in a clean coffee grinder or other spice grinder.
- Peel the potatoes and cut them in 3/4 inch dice.
- Heat the oil in a non stick frying pan over a medium heat. When hot, put in the potatoes. Stir and fry the potatoes so they are very lightly browned—just golden—and only half cooked. Remove with a slotted spoon.
- Put the 3 whole red chillies in the same oil. As soon as they start to darken, put in the ground poppy seeds and 2 Tbs. of water. Stir and sauté this past until it turns a medium brown colour.
- Now put in the potatoes, about 3/4 cup of water, the turmeric, red chilli powder (cayenne pepper), salt and green chillies. Stir to mix and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes or until the potatoes are done and most of the water is absorbed.
- Note: the whole chillies should only be eaten by those who know that they are doing.
- A Taste of India Madhur Jaffrey.