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- Duration: 30 minutes
- Serves: 4 people
Spice Level: Low
Most dishes of this region are cooked in fresh mustard oil. The zing of the oil adds a typical flavour that all authentic Bengali dishes come with. The oil needs to be heated till it gives off smoke before adding the other ingredients. Otherwise, the dish will give off the pungent, raw smell of mustard oil.
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Posto (khus khus or white poppy seeds), one of West Bengal's favourite ingredients, induces sleep and sets the stage for a pleasant afternoon siesta, something precious to a typical Bangali babu. Prepared as an accompaniment to monger dal and bhajja (moong dal and any crisp vegetable fry), Aloo Posto is best eaten with luchi (Bengali equivalent of puri, made with maida and fried in ghee), on a relaxed Sunday afternoon.
- Potato (medium sized), peeled and cubed (3)
- White poppy seeds (Khus khus) (1 cup)
- Green chillies(Hari mirch), sliced (2-3)
- Whole red chillies(Sabut lal mirch) (2)
- Cumin seeds (jeera) (a few)
- MTR Haldi Turmeric Powder (¼ tsp)
- Sugar (½ tsp)
- Mustard oil (Sarson ka tel) (2 tbsp)
- Salt (to taste)
- Wash the posto several times. Soak overnight.
- It's best to use a sheelbata (Bengali stone grinder) to grind the posto till it is light in texture but not too fine. Try to avoid using an electric mixer-grinder or the posto may turn sour due to overgrinding and ruin the dish. The ground posto may be stored in the refrigerator for a week without spoiling.
- In a pan, pour the sarson ka tel and heat. Use only the sarson oil as it gives the dish its required sharpness. Make sure to heat the oil till it begins to give off smoke before adding other ingredients. Otherwise it will impart a pungent, raw smell to the dish.
- Add sabut lal mirch and jeera. As they start spluttering, follow through with the sliced hari mirch and let them sizzle till they give off a distinct aroma.
- Stir in the cubed potatoes, haldi, posto, and salt. Sauté for a few minutes and add about 1 cup of water.
- Bring the dish to a boil, lower the flame, and cover the pan. Let it simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Remove the cover. Add sugar and continue cooking till the potatoes are done and the dish is almost dry. Check the potatoes to see if they are cooked through. Taste the dish and adjust the seasoning if required; the posto should be mildly tangy with an undertone of sweet.
- Serve with hot luchis (Bengali equivalent of puri, made with maida and fried in ghee) or steamed rice.