Thursday, August 7, 2014

Peyaanj Posto - Poppy Seeds with Onions

Posto is one of those pillars of Ghoti Bangali (West Bengal) cuisine that I am a great devotee of. Every time I visit home in Kolkata my mom and my jethima make sure that it's cooked for me in some form or the other nearly every day. Most of you have heard of and even eaten aloo posto - it's served at most Bengali restaurants.

Apart from aloo posto there are a variety of other veggies that are cooked with posto like jhinge (ridge gourd), potol (pointed gourd) and begun (brinjals), to name a few. My favourite, however, is peyaanj posto - posto cooked with onions. The sweetness of the caramelised onions marries beautifully with the nutty smoothness of the poppy seeds and the green chilli adds a perfect spicy zing to the whole thing.

Peyaanj Posto 

1/2 cup white poppy seeds soaked for 15 mins, drained and ground to a paste with 1 fresh green chilli.
2 onions very finely sliced
2 fresh green chillies
mustard oil

Soak and grind the poppy seeds as described above.
Slice the onions really really fine. Sprinkle salt on the onions and mix well opening up the onion slices. Leave it to sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Squeeze out the water from the onions as much as you can.
Heat the oil in a wok or kadai  and fry the onions slowly till the start to brown. Drop in the green chillies. Sprinkle half a teaspoon of sugar to get the onions nicely browned and caramelised. Take care not to burn the onions or your dish will be ruined.
Add the posto paste. And now comes the fun bit - reduce the flame and cook the posto into the onions stirring slowly. Keep moving the posto around in the wok, it should not stick to the wok. Add more oil if required. This stage can take anything from 10 to 12 minutes so be patient. Eventually the oil will separate out and your peyaanj posto is ready.
Since salt is added to the onions you don't need to add any more while cooking.
You can add turmeric if you like or you can leave it out. The presence of turmeric in posto preparations is one of the favourite arguments among Bengali food connoisseurs and food enthusiasts.

Serve the peyaanj posto with a simple daal and plain white rice.

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tojo said...

incredible in it´s simplicity! :D

Kalyan Karmakar said...

i like anything with posto, specially for the texture in fries. peyaji posto is a good idea

Unknown said...

Will try out today. Gorom bhat and the pyaj posto. .yummy. if you have bengali type urad daal with this you will be in seventh hevean.