Friday, 16 April 2010
Aloo Posto (Potatoes in Poppy Seed Paste)
Finally, the Bengali classic! Potatoes cooked in white poppy-seed paste.
White poppy seeds.
Whole white cumin.
Isn't it amazing how few things one needs for this one?
Cut potatoes as shown, rub with teensy bit of turmeric and some white salt. Shallow fry till nicely [golden]-browned. Keep aside.
Paste the white poppy and green chillies with a dash of sugar and salt. They're notoriously difficult to paste in food processors OR mortar-pestle, but try. I did.
NOTE: This paste, if in fact pasted (the Bengali sheel-nora: invaluable), is delicious with white rice and mustard oil. Doesn't need to be cooked further.
Heat mustard oil till it loses it's brown colour. Lower the flame and add whole cumin seeds and a bay leaf. When it smells of fried cumin, add the poppy seed paste. Stir till it turns a lovely rich brown.
Add the potatoes. Mix them in well. Add water and mix thoroughly. Cover and cook on low for about ten to twelve minutes. Taste for salt and sugar levels and add if required. If the curry is drying out, add more water and boil without a cover. Take off flames when desired thickness is reached. Serve with white rice.