Friday, 5 June 2009

Aloo Posto / Potatoes Cooked in Poppy Seeds Paste

Accepting things is sometimes difficult. Accepting people even more. When I just so badly want rain ... the sun shows off just how well it can scorch.
When I am planning to have an elaborate dinner, the other half does not feel 'too hungry' ... and I make do with a salad ... nah .... I do not even feel happy about the break from the kitchen.
When I want to sit at home and read in the weekend, I am taken on a long endless drive.

Grin and bear? Well ... sometimes I do. Mostly because I am not too aggressive a person .... both temperamentally or vocally. I like peace ... in my heart ... and in the world.
After all Betty Crocker's quiz tells me I am a vanilla cupcake "from the heart" type of person .... some solace that.
Oh yes ... am that worthless ... I go about taking online quizzes to know myself. ;-)

Keeping in line with my posto dishes, I am posting the very favourite Aloo Posto. I still have some posto left from the loot that S got from Calcutta ... and before I run out of stock, I want my blog to have this.
Don't know when I'll get good posto again.

Like I have said before, I believe that you may come across a Bengali who dislikes fish .... or even any non-veg food for that matter, but there is hardly one who does not like Aloo Posto.

Back home, many a completely vegetarian lunch / dinner on a particular day of the week would be saved from complete disregard ... or worse ... getting fully ostracised ... with just this one beautiful dish.

As always, I will say that make sure you have good posto .... which is sweet to taste .... and no matter how much you fry .... will never taste bitter .... unlike the posto we get in the Western part of this country.

Need : Posto / Poppy seeds soaked (for around 2 hours) and ground to a paste, peeled and cubed potatoes, chopped onions, Paanch Phoron, cooking oil ( I use mustard oil ... but any white oil would do ) and salt to taste.

How to :
Heat oil in a kadhai / wok. Add the paanch phoron and the chopped onions. Fry for a while.

Add the potatoes and a little salt and cover. When the potatoes are half done add the posto paste, diluted with a little water.

If needed add more water ... don't worry ... they will get soaked up. Cover and cook till the potatoes are done.

Remove cover and cook till it turns dryish. Goes great with hot plain rice with a little ghee on top and dal.
Enjoy !

PS : Am sure there's somebody up there smiling down ... the rain part just got fulfilled. It has just started raining real hard here .... with a gutsy wind and lightning. Yay!!! Am filling my senses with the sweet smell of water on warm earth. Aaaahhh! :-)


  1. You are right. Everyone loves alu posto. It is quite popular amongst some of our non Bengali friends too.

    I was quite encouraged to see your pics as I too prefer a creamish colour the way my mom does it. However, restaurants tend to put more haldi and my wife actually likes that...Kalyan

    Poppy seeds, potato make quite a heady mix.

    By the way you get posto in Bombay. It's called khus khus. We use that now. Earlier used to depend on stash sent by Mom.

    Do you soak and then grind it? We grind and then soak it.

    I prefer a slight crunch in my posto. So we noramlly par boil the potato first. Need less oil that way. And then cook it till the skin crinkles a bit.

    I noticed that you use paanch phoron. So do I. But my mom says it should be kalo jeere. Any thoughts?

    I have now taught our maid a local Muslim lady to cook this. She calls it 'khus khus walla alu' and makes it quite well

  2. Thanks Kalyan! I do not use haldi at all in alu posto. We get khus khus here too ... but I have found them not even close to the real thing ... the grains are too big ... and tastes horrible. I get from home. :-)

    I soak and grind it. And use kalo jeere (+ green chillies) but only when using white oil because I find the mix of kalo jeere in mustard oil gives a very strong flavour which overwhelms the mild posto.

  3. I hav eneve rhad this potato cooked with seasmae seeds, looks really yumm.

  4. OK! So you posted my favourite Bengali dish at last:)! I will definitely ask for posto next time my neighbour goes to Kolkata. Thanks for this delicious recipe!

  5. erokom shada shada posto dekhe barir kotha monay porchay. I LOVE posto, kintu ekhane thik kore grind korte parina for so little quantity..... I Love Knacha bata post, with mustard oil, onion & green chilli, janina tumi khao kina. amar boro tao posto khete bhalobashe, but hubby does not eat.

  6. Thats very interesting combination..never used before..looks hmmmm...

  7. Thanks HC! It is poppy seeds. :-)

    So you love it too Harini! If you want I can give you the brand name too. And thanks. :-)

    Soma ... khaina abar! Jokhoni baati, ektu kaancha tule rakhi. Tumi ektu beshi kore bete rakhte paro freeze kore ... ami tai kori. Of course frozen ta ranna e use korbe ... kancha khawa jabe na. Try kore dekho. :-)

    Thanks Parita! :-)

  8. never tried alu with poppy seeds but looks yummy

  9. I use haldi :) I like sunshine in my posto :)
    BTW you don't get posto in Pune, really ?

  10. Lovely blog - my friend made aloo posto for me once and I loved it...i do dabble with a bit of bengali cooking...chorchori and jhal muri are my favs...

  11. Hi, I've made this many times, no haldi. Often thought it looked anemic, but I like the taste. I'm not good at grinding poppy seeds in the mixer, so I grind an entire packet after roasting it a bit. Dry-grind to a powder, I mean, but it always comes out a bit moist.

  12. Whenever the recipe calls for poppy seeds. I just use cashew seeds paste. Sounds creamy n rich!

  13. Thanks KF, Trupti ! :-)

    Sandeepa ... amar jethima o holud deye :-). We do get posto here but it does not look or taste anything like what we get back at home. Ar kora te dilei ekta sticky dela hoye jaye.

    Welcome Arch! And thanks. :-)

    Thanks Sra! You can soak them first. I grind around 50 gms at a time and freeze it. Always works. :-)

    Thanks Divya! That sounds like a good substitute. :-)

  14. I felt the rain, the way u described it!
    I haven't made aloo posto but can imagine how delicious it must be.

  15. ei je aaj aamio aloo posto banabo bhebechhilaam, actually maa boshe ekhon aloo katchhe :)
    aami ei baar prothom aloo posto ranna korbo, dekhii kemon hoy. maa aar dida khoooob bhalo banaaye..duh!!! :)
    you are right this is ultimate favorite of all bengalis.
    P.S. the introduction to the post was lovely and quite right!

  16. ahhh..thats a lovely posto...I can still remember the time I had making this for the rci..:)) guys really love your posto right...

    and about the way you feel..well dont' worry am sure things will work out fine as the rain in the end..:)

  17. Thanks Bharti, Joyee, Srivalli! :-)

  18. eta to aamar fav dish.......ami halud na diye banayi......bangla kemon laglo aamar.....

  19. enjoy the rain,..aloo posto looks yum,..

  20. Thanks Sangeeta! Your bangla is perfect. :-)

    Thanks Priyanka! :-)

  21. wow, sharmila....I'm happy to see that,amra dujanei same natured person...dekhona, ami erokom sada posto khete bhalobasi, kintu amar hubby sab kichu yellow na hole bhalo base na..phale compromise karte hai..anyway, darun lagche, posto can grind posto in coffee grinder without soaking tumi try karechile sarshe posto ta?

  22. I have not tried aloo posto till now, though I've had it on my must try list for the longest time. Will try your version soon

  23. khus khus kiye jaaa..loved the aloo and poppy seeds combi

  24. Sounds interesting! Nice recipe to try!

  25. poppy seeds with tried this one b4

  26. I love alu posto... haven't had it in a while!

  27. We usually add khus-khus in meat gravies,aloo posto is a whole new recipe for me,looks yum:)

  28. Thanks Indrani, Vani, Rush, AnuSriram, Preety, Mandira, Yasmeen ! :-)

  29. Alu postor chhobi dekhe Ma'ar hateer rannar katha mone pore gelo. I miss cooking in mustard oil is not available in the local grocers in USA. I have seen it in the Indian stores, but all the bottles are stamped with "for external use only, not for consumption". Tai aami peanut oil diye banalam ... bhalo taste hoyechhe ... but not like alu posto cooked in mustard oil.

  30. Thanks Madhu! I can understand. :-)
    Ekta kaaj koro ... next time posto r shathe ektu khani mustard paste add kore dekho sheyi flavour ta ashe ki na .. maybe you won't miss mustard oil any more. :-)
    Just a suggestion ... ami try korini kokhono.

  31. Hi, can you please post recipe for sukto.. I like it very much. but dont know how to prepare.

  32. Hi Biswarup!
    I have already posted Shukto ... you will find it here ...

    Hope this helps. :-)

  33. Have been reading your posts to learn bengali dishes for the past one newly wed :) to a Bihari....Just asking..have seen my mother preparing Alu Posto by frying the Posto paste really well along with alu before putting some water. Your method is little different...

  34. Anon ... everybody has their own way of cooking. Does not matter as long as the dish turns out well ... right? :-)

  35. I am the same Annon:)...Now Sangeeta Adhikari from Howrah posted at Bihar:)...thanks for your cooking tips...have surfed so many sites..but yours is simple, easy to follow with no strict measuring units!!!and just like a bengali....learning to cook charchari, bhaaja muger daal, muri ghanto, paayesh, lau diye cholar daal...list is endless. from your blog...Thanks....

  36. Thanks Sangeeta! Good luck! :-)

  37. Hi mam.

    I tried alu my in laws place it's white as well (unfortunately I have never tasted it..) somehow as much as I try it,I never get it that right...

    I have a question there any recipe of posto where they add garlic and one we roast posto or posto paste? Ok now last one, this makes it 3 questions in to understand post quality? Does it taste sweetish in taste...

    Help pls pls pls

    Take care,
    Warmest regards,

    1. ASh ... posto is mainly eaten as a vegetarian dish ... no garlic is added but at times onions is added ... both raw or while cooking.
      No ... we do not roast posto or the paste.
      Yes .. good posto is slightly sweet and fresh in taste.
      Lastly ... most important ... you need good quality posto. The khus khus that we get here in Pune is not the real posto and is slightly bitter too .... so the taste depends hugely on that.

  38. Thanks a tonne..

    I really thought I had done something wrong but some time back the jhimni pos I made was good enough...

    You rightly said..we make a knee in which khuskhus is added and the khuskhus on its own tastes good as well..

    This posto tasted musty and paste bland and not sweet...

    Thanks again mam...I have to try your charchari next

    Take care,


Thank you for sharing Kichu Khonn( a few moments ) with me in my kitchen!