Aloo Posto – Bengali Potato Poppy Seed Curry

Thank you for sharing!

Last Updated on December 14, 2020 by Chef Mireille

Aloo Posto, Potato CurryThis week’s BM theme is to pick a regional state of India and cook a few dishes from that cuisine. I already have cooked many Bengali dishes when I made this thali here and in other posts. The state of West Bengal is unique when compared to other South Indian states as there are very few Bengali Vegetarians. Fish is always included as part of their daily diet. Even the Bengali Hindu pandits are not Vegetarian. The one group of Bengali’s who were Vegetarian were widows. When women became widows, they were no longer allowed to eat meat as well as other foods like onion and garlic, foods deemed to incite feelings of passion. However, this is changing in modern times.

Because of this, onion and garlic are now used in many traditional Bengali dishes, when they weren’t used in the past. However, some dishes are so flavorful and delicious, who needs it? This poppy seed curry is one of those. Poppy seeds combined with the intoxicating aromatic nigella seed make this a wonderfully delicious Vegetarian side dish.

Aloo Posto

Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Yield: Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 4 teaspoons white poppy seeds
  • 5 green chiles
  • 1 tablespoon mustard oil
  • 1 teaspoon nigella seeds/ kalonji
  • 12 oz. potatoes, peeled and cut into large dice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ghee

Soak poppy seeds in 1/4 cup water for 2-3 hours.

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Using coffee/spice grinder, grind the poppy seeds with the green chillies to form a paste.

Heat oil in a deep skillet. Add nigella seeds and fry for 1 minute.

Add potatoes and turmeric. Stir fry on medium heat for 5 minutes.

Add cumin, 1/2 cup water and salt. Simmer on medium heat for about 10 minutes stirring occasionally, until all of the liquid has evaporated.

Add poppy seed paste, sugar and 3/4 cup water. Simmer for another 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are cooked and fork tender.

potatoes -edit

Add ghee and cook for 1 more minute.

Potato Poppy Seed Curry -edit

Notes:
If all the liquid has evaporated and the potatoes are still not fork tender, add a little more water 1/4 cup at a time, until the potatoes are cooked. It is meant to be a semi-dry curry.

Bengali Aloo -edit

The spices here are very mild when compared to most Indian curries, but the nigella is so fragrant and creates such a lasting effect on the palate that the spices aren’t missed.

Aloo Posto, Potato Curry
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Aloo Posto – Bengali Potato Poppy Seed Curry

Prep Time2 hrs
Cook Time40 mins

Ingredients

  • 4 teaspoons white poppy seeds
  • 5 green chiles
  • 1 tablespoon mustard oil
  • 1 teaspoon black onion seed/nigella
  • 12 oz. potatoes peeled and cut into large dice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ghee

Instructions

  • Soak poppy seeds in 1/4 cup water for 2-3 hours.
  • Using coffee/spice grinder, grind the poppy seeds with the green chillies to form a paste.
  • Heat oil in a deep skillet. Add nigella seeds and fry for 1 minute.
  • Add potatoes and turmeric. Stir fry on medium heat for 5 minutes.
  • Add cumin, 1/2 cup water and salt. Simmer on medium heat for about 10 minutes stirring occasionally, until all of the liquid has evaporated.
  • Add poppy seed paste, sugar and 3/4 cup water. Simmer for another 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are cooked and fork tender.
  • Add ghee and cook for 1 more minute.

Notes

If all the liquid has evaporated and the potatoes are still not fork tender, add a little more water 1/4 cup at a time, until the potatoes are cooked. It is meant to be a semi-dry curry.
Did you try this recipe? Leave a comment below.Please follow me on Instagram @chefmireille or tag me #chefmireille with your pics! I'd love to share them!
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Thank you for sharing!

About Chef Mireille

CHEF MIREILLE - AUTHOR, RECIPE DEVELOPER AND PHOTOGRAPHER FOR Global Kitchen Travels
***
Chef Mireille is a NYC based freelance chef instructor and food photographer. Due to her very diverse family background, she was able to travel and learn about global cultures and flavors from a young age. Her passion for culture, cooking, history and education had made her an expert on developing traditional globally inspired recipes & delicious fusion cuisine.
Her extensive travel history provides a plethora of background information and Travel Tips!

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Comments

  1. Rajani

    Traditionally, onion and garlic are shunned by brahmins in general. And the funny part is you have so many recipes without it that you hardly miss it. Times are changing now, but still as you grow older, there is a tendency to gravitate twards the food you ate when growing up. Thats a good reason why older people start avoiding garlic and onion (at least in my family).

  2. Pavani

    My maternal grandparents never ate onion, garlic or ginger. Even my mom uses them in moderation. I think I can survive without them for may be a week 🙂
    Aloo posto looks and sounds delicious.

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