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Indian Bengali Potatoes With Poppy Seeds (Aloo Posto)

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“Poppy seeds, like sesame seeds, add a wonderful nutty taste to foods. Bengalis grind them and use them in quantity with vegetables like potatoes and cauliflower to provide a thick clinging sauce. The result is unusual and quite superb. This potato dish may be served with most Indian meals. It could also be served with roast lamb, lamb chops or with grilled (broiled) or roasted chicken. Note: Cauliflower may be cooked in exactly the same way. Break it into flowerets first. I bought white poppy seeds at the Chinese grocery store.”

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Grind poppy seeds as finely as possible in a clean coffee grinder or other spice grinder.
  2. Peel the potatoes and cut them in 3/4 inch dice.
  3. Heat the oil in a non stick frying pan over a medium heat. When hot, put in the potatoes. Stir and fry the potatoes so they are very lightly browned—just golden—and only half cooked. Remove with a slotted spoon.
  4. Put the 3 whole red chillies in the same oil. As soon as they start to darken, put in the ground poppy seeds and 2 Tbs. of water. Stir and sauté this past until it turns a medium brown colour.
  5. Now put in the potatoes, about 3/4 cup of water, the turmeric, red chilli powder (cayenne pepper), salt and green chillies. Stir to mix and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes or until the potatoes are done and most of the water is absorbed.
  6. Note: the whole chillies should only be eaten by those who know that they are doing.
  7. A Taste of India Madhur Jaffrey.

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