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Monday, February 23, 2009

The poppy factor

Poppy seeds (also known as posto and khus khus) are widely used in various Indian Cuisines like Andhra cuisine, Malabar Cuisine - Northern Kerala, Bengali cuisine and Oriya cuisine) and also in cuisines from across the globe like German cuisine, Ukrainian cuisine, Romanian cuisine, Hungarian cuisine and the Cuisine of Austria.

Poppy seeds are used whole or ground as an ingredient in many foods and also as a filling, especially in various baked dishes.

All time favourite for the Bengalis, white poppy seeds are known as Posto in West Bengal & Bangladesh. They are very popular and used as the main ingredient in a variety of dishes.

One of the most popular dishes is Aloo Posto (a dish cooked with potatoes and ground poppy seeds paste) and eaten with steamed rice.

There can be several variants to this basic dish like onions (pyaj posto), ridge gourd (jhinge posto), chicken (murgi posto) including prawns (chingri posto).

Another popular dish is posto bora (ground posto made into round patties and fried in oil or toasted in a little oil in flat bottomed tawa).

Uncooked ground poppy seeds (kancha posto) are mixed with mustard oil, chopped green chili peppers, fresh onions and eaten with rice (popular in rural bengal).

Sometimes seeds are roasted and used to coat cutlets and chops.

Poppy seeds are used in Bengali desserts too like posto sandesh.


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