Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Bhindi Posto(Okra w/poppy seed) & Jhinge-aloo Posto(Ridge gourd-potato w/poppy seed)

Posto, or poppy seed or khas khas, is the star ingredient of today's post.

Points to be noted : Even though opium and poppy seeds are correlated, poppy seeds do not contain any narcotic properties and hence one can benefit from poppy seeds nutrition without the effects of opium. 
The poppy seeds contained 45 to 50% of unsaturated essential fatty acids, which make it a good source of nutrition and health food. Poppy seed have many medicinal properties too. They are considered to have high cooling properties, their usage is believed to relive digestive disorders, and is a great cleanser for the system too.The poppy seed contains extensive quantities of calcium and phosphorus. So, it is very good food for lactating and pregnant mothers. Poppy seed paste also helps to cure Insomni, joint pain, skin blemishes, dry skin problems etc. Poppy seed oil which is rich in linoleic acid (an important omega-6 fatty acid), health and protecting the heart against cardiovascular diseases and heart attacks. The oil is also rich in oleic acid, which is believed to help prevent breast cancer. So, add poppy seed in your diet if you're not doing, to have this above mentioned health benefits.
I just love this spice like most of the Bengalis do. Bengali's love for this spice is something undescribable. I think, so far people from all over the World know about Aloo Posto, The famous Bengali vegetarian dish. There are many variants to this basic dish. Just replacing the vegetable like potato & Bhindi(okra) or potato & ridge gourd(jhinge) or potato & drumstick(sajne data), or sometimes single vegetable like bhindi(okra) or Parwal/patol(pointed gourd) with poppy seed paste makes a divine dish with hot rice. Even, non-veg dishes like, Murgi posto(chicken with poppy seed) or Prawn posto or Rui posto(carp cooked with poppy seed) are also made in bengali cuisine. Roughly grounded poppy seeds are also served raw, mixed with chopped green chilli, onion and mustard oil, known as Kancha posto bata is another preperation, which tastes great with hot rice. Another preperation, is Posto'r bara, grounded poppy seeds made into round patties and shallow fried, taste just divine.
I've posted my one of the favorite poppy seed dish, Sajne data O Aloo posto(drumstick & potato with poppy seed paste) already. Today, I'll post 2 more varieties.., on request from one of my blog followers..
Another advantages of these dishes, is very easy to cook, and need very few ingredients.

\\1//Okra or Bhindi Posto(Okra with poppy seed)

Ingredients :
Okra : few
Poppy seed : 3-4 tblsp.
Green chilli : 1-2
Turmeric powder : 1 tsp.
Salt to taste
Oil : 1-2 tblsp.

Method :
  • Wash okras first, pat dry. Cut off each okra head and tail a bit, then cut half the bigger ones and if small, do not cut. 
  • Grind poppy seed in a dry or coffee grinder with  the chillies. Adding chillies is optional. If you can tolerate, then add them, otherwise omit and just add a pinch of chilli powder. But green chilli blends very well with poppy seeds. I only use green chilli while cooking with poppy seeds.
  • Heat oil in a pan, throw the okras. Fry for 2-3 minutes adding a pinch of salt and turmeric. Mix 2 tblsp. water with poppy seed paste and add the paste to okras. Mix well and stir until water dries up. then add 1/2 cup or just enough water to cook okras. 
  • Cook covered until okras are done and water dries up completely. Check the seasoning and You are done.
You have a great tasting side dish which tastes divine(especially for the okra/bhindi lovers) with hot rice..................

\\2// Jhinge Aloo Posto (Potato & Ridge gourd in poppy seed paste)

(The light green veggie you see, are the ridge gourds)

Ingredients :
Potato : 1 or 2(medium)
Ridge gourd : 2
Poppy seed : 3-4 tblsp.
Green chilli : 1-2
Turmeric powder : 1 tsp.
Black cumin seed/Kalonji/kala jeera : 1 tsp.
Salt to taste
Oil : 1-2 tblsp.

Method :
  • Cut potatoes in small cube like pieces. Cut ridge gourds also the same way.
  • Grind poppy seed in a dry or coffee grinder with the chillies. Adding chillies is optional. If you can tolerate, then add them, otherwise omit and just add a pinch of chilli powder.
  • Heat oil in a pan, temper with black  cumin seed and add the potatoes. Add salt and turmeric powder. Stir fry for 2-3 minutes. Mix 2 tblsp. water with poppy seed paste, then add the poppy seed paste. Mix well stirring, until water dries up.
  • Add 1 cup water just to cook the potatoes. We will add ridge gourd at the end as it gets cooked very fast in minutes. Cover and let it cook. When potatoes are almost done and water almost dried up, add ridge gourd pieces. Cover again and wait till water dries up. Check the seasoning and stir to coat potatoes and ridge gourd with poppy seed paste.
 Serve this with hot rice and dal and enjoy......................

My other recipes reposting here, Poppy seed as a Key ingredient :

 Sending all 5 recipes to RV, who is hosting Think Spice: Think Poppy seed ,

event masterminded by Sunita of Sunita's World


shanthi said...


Priya said...

Bhindi posto looks simple and quick and am going to this..Btw am drooling over the aloo posto..

Indrani said...

Thanks Priya and Shanthiji for your quick input

Ushnish Ghosh said...

Dear Indrani
When one has to look for real Bengali dish , one has to come here!!
So nice, specially the jhinge alu posto. Haven't tried Jhinge posto alone for many years. My Maa Used to make with snake gourd or jhinge..it had a sweet note ( sugar added). I shall try with your spicing system.
Thanks for sharing
Bhalo theko

Home Cooked Oriya Food said...

oh all of these are my favorites. I love posto in anything. You had a aloo posto too earlier - that was great too!

Tina said...

Sounds new to me...Looks yummy.

delhibelle said...

I totally ADORE posto dishes. Can u please tell me the secret shop where u get posto in Singapore:)

Sayantani said...

dutoi amar fav dish. pictures are great.

Anonymous said...

hi any luck with finding posto in singapore? we have just moved here and that is one spice i forgot to bring with me! do let me know

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