Monday, October 09, 2006

Alu Posto and Musuri'r Dal for lunch


Loosely translated that’s Potato in Poppy Seeds and Red Lentil Soup for Lunch. Ok, that’s it, I would rather have my Alu Posto than this tough sounding dish.
Posto or Poppy-Seeds or KhasKhas is a popular ingredient for several dishes in Bengal, particularly in the districts of Bankura, Birbhum etc. I don’t know whether I loved it because it “induces euphoria and sleep” but I tell you it’s yummm and if you doze off to sleep after the above lunch that’s bliss too.

What You need

For Posto:
Potato chopped in cubes ~ 3 medium sized potatoes, peeled and cubed
Poppy seeds (Khaskhas/Posto) ~ 5-6 heaped tbsp of the Poppy seeds paste or posto bata
Green Chillies – 2-3
Dry Red Chillies ~ 2 (optional)
Whole Jeera (Cumin seeds) ~ 3/4th tsp loosely packed
Salt
Turmeric Powder

Sugar ~ 1/2 tsp or none according to taste
Oil ~ for Cooking
Mustard Oil ~ a dash i.e. about 1 tsp of mustard oil to sprinkle on the top

For Dal:
Red Masur Dal
Finely Chopped Onions
Fresh Coriander Leaves
Chopped Tomatoes
Green Chillies
Kalo Jeera/Kalonji

How I do it

Grind the posto/poppy seeds to a fine powder. I use the coffee grinder which can be used to dry grind only. So afterwards I mix it with water to make a paste. The consistency of the paste should not be too watery. If you are wet grinding make a paste at one go.
Cut the potato in cubes and soak in water , else they develop black spots.
Chop or slit the green chillies.
Heat oil in a Kadai/Pan. Mustard Oil is preferred.
Add the whole Jeera/Cumin seeds and wait till they sputter. You can add 2-3 dry red chillies too.
Add the potato cubes in the oil with a pinch of haldi/turmeric powder.
Saute the potato lightly till they develop a golden tinge. Do not over or deep fry them.
Add the posto/poppy seeds paste
Cook on medium heat till the paste has uniformly coated the potatoes
Add little water (around 3/4 cup), adequate salt, and the chopped green chillies.
You can sprinkle very little sugar if you want.
Cover and cook till the potatoes are done. Also I make it dry so I wait for the water to dry up.
At this point you can add about 1 tsp of mustard oil and stir well before you remove from heat. Take care that the potatoes don't get mashed up though

Pressure Cook the Masur Dal with a pinch of turmeric
Heat oil and add the phoron, or as we say temper with Kalo jeera/Kalonji
Add the finely chopped onions and fry till they turn pink in color. Add slit or chopped green chillies
Add the chopped tomatoes and cook till they become a fine pulp
Add the previously cooked dal and mix well.
Add salt, little sugar and water.
Cook till you hear a nice bubbling sound. Remember to stir infrequently during this process.
Also continue cook till the thickness of the dal is according to your liking
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

The alu posto and musur dal go very well with plain white rice. My Ma used to make Urad Dal (or Kalai er Dal ) as an accompaniment with posto. Post that another day.

Updated on 3rd August, 2007: The original post did not have measures as I was still new to blogging. This post has been updated with the measure for alu posto. For the Masoor dal check my post on Red Masur Dal.

Trivia: Only unripe poppy seeds contain narcotic substances, not the ripe ones

23 comments:

  1. thanks asha
    don't know if poppy seeds is a popular ingredient in Kannada cooking, try out this though
    -sandeepa

    ReplyDelete
  2. just a suggestion - Mustard oil for posto is heavenly!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hey Kausum,
    You are right, and ka(n)cha posto bata with ka(n)cha lanka and mustard oil, still better.
    --sandeepa

    ReplyDelete
  4. mmmm...a friend made this posto for me a long time ago and it was so good but she wouldnt give me a recipe - said it was a family secret.

    i tried your recipe and i can tell you, it was way better than hers! :) haha!!!
    thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Sandeepa here after long. Posto bong love I guess its best know bong dish.

    Asha...try ghasgase for once with a spice...I'm saturated with the paysa here in blr.:)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Sandeepa,
    I have never had aloo posto, but am tempted by the name of it!
    I just bought some poppy seeds to make aaloo posto. Though you have shown potatoe cubes and posto that you used in the picture. I still hope you can guide me a bit with measurement. How much (in cups) is the posto shown in the picture.
    Thanks a tonne.
    Vid

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks for a great recipe, tried it last night, mmmm... I used kalonji instead of jeera, just tastes more bong, iykwim

    ReplyDelete
  8. hey!m a major Bong fan!!the people and the Fooooood!!i dont like the sweet taste in it..but minus that..there is something fab about it!!m gonna learna lot from u!!being a Bangalorean i feel the connection getting stronger!!
    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  9. heyy...I made this y'day :) it was my first time with alu posto and just followed ur recipe...and I liked it with a bowl of rice...had some dal too...it was a nice combo :)

    Btw, why this long break..? hope its just work thats keeping u busy..miss u !

    Shn

    ReplyDelete
  10. hey.. in aloo posto you should try paanch fodon that is the mixture of five seeds instead of only jeera or kalauji..these are kalaunji,methi seed.white jeera,mustard seeds and lil bit of ajwain..try this.

    ReplyDelete
  11. i dun think using jeera or paanch foron is a good idea...it tastes heavenly widdout it!!d real flavour of posto!!1

    ReplyDelete
  12. hi babi

    I have always used Jeera or Kalonji, both as whole spices as phoron(for tempering) for alu posto

    I am sure you like your posto without these spices but I like mine this way :)
    I make a Jhinge Posto with none of these spices though

    ReplyDelete
  13. this looks amazing ....just a small tip maybe if you put kalo zeera (Kalonji) instead of plain zeera in the aloo posto it would taste more yummy :-)

    ReplyDelete
  14. try adding one chopped onion after chaunk/ temper panch phoron. Adds a wonderful taste to Posto.

    And also try Kalai / Biuli Daal with Aloo Posto... its made with the Urad Dal. ULTIMATE COMBO

    ReplyDelete
  15. Yay, you finally got credited for your lifted recipe! ;)

    ReplyDelete
  16. I had some leftover boiled potato and I though of trying your recipe. It came out so yummy and awesome even with boiled potatoes.

    And yes, adding mustard oil does make a difference. When I will visit India, I am going to cook this for my mom too :)

    Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Swati SucharitaJuly 03, 2011 12:04 AM

    I make aloo posto too, but fry some onions, dry red chillies with the kalonji, is that allowed in the Bengali cuisine rulebook, the onions ie? Your descriptions evoke the best memories of soul food, as Im an Odia, married to a Bong... so food habits die hard :)

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hello,

    I am just loving your site, but yes I do not see a receipe of tiler nadu here. I just brought some til yesterday and wanted to cook the same. Please help. Looking forward.....

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hi,
    I am a amateur cook and just learning the nuances of cooking :) wanted to get hold of some authentic bengali recipes...and i just love the ones you have posted...

    Great Job!!

    ReplyDelete
  20. If i am not wrong I believe Biulir dal is the best accompaniment with any form of posto. please reply if some one is Ghoti.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I just got married a month ago and I can't cook at all! My husband is Indian and I'm American, so I have no background making Indian food. I made this for lunch today and he said it tastes just like home, just like his mom's! Thank you! Best compliment I could have ever gotten, thanks to you!! Now I need to keep practicing for when the in-laws come to visit.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Revisiting this page after years, it is interesting to see how the blog and your style has evolved. Much love for all the food joy you bring to all our lives. @Jawhar - quite agree about the biulir dal deal.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for your Comments. I hope you will be nice and not Spam.