Aloo Posto – Bengali Potatoes with Poppy Seeds

Aloo Posto - Bengali Potatoes with Poppy Seeds
Potatoes sauteed in a thick coating of poppy seeds is a signature dish from Bengali cuisine.
  • 5 - 6 medium potatoes, washed, cut into 5 cm cubes
  • 1 cup poppy seeds
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1 tablespoon nigella seeds
  • 2 - 3 dried red chillies (or 1 - 2 tablespoons red chilli flakes)
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 4 fresh green chillies, sliced
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • salt, to taste
  1. Optional step - Soak the poppy seeds in a bowl of water overnight. (You may want to wash them a few times with water if pressed for time.)
  2. Pour the poppy seeds into a blender, add ¼ cup of water, and blend into a smooth paste. (Every now and then, use a spatula to push the seeds down the side of the blender.). Set paste aside in a bowl. (Alternatively use a mortar and pestle)
  3. Add oil to a medium hot pan. Add the dry red chillies and nigella seeds. When the seeds start to pop, add the sliced onions. Continue cooking for 3 - 4 minutes.
  4. Add the sliced green chillies, continue stirring for 2 minutes.
  5. Add ½ cup water, cubed potatoes, ground turmeric, salt, and poppy seed paste. Stir to combine and cover.
  6. Occasionally remove the cover and stir the mixture. If you have to add some water, then do so. Adjust salt to taste. (Poppy seeds have a tendency to stick at the bottom so be very careful and scrape the bottom and sides while cooking. )
  7. Continue cooking until the potatoes are soft and coated with the gravy. Serve hot.

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