Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Posto Bhaate, a Bangal’s Way of Inducing Sleep

When we were kids, Mum would make a coarse paste of Posto (white poppy seed/khus khus) and serve a small dollop of it with hot, steaming rice, a little ghee and a pinch of salt. Of course the adults also got a crunchy green chili to go with it. This combination would often start many meals in our home.

IMG_3092 Then Mum learnt this variation of the Posto Bhaate from one of her friends who is a Bangal.

Posto when made into a paste has a grainy-creamy texture to it. Its often added to mutton, chicken and fish dishes in Indian homes. The most popular Bengali dish is Alu Posto which is small cubes of potatoes cooked with green chilies and the poppy seed paste.

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Poppy Seeds have a really short shelf life and often times you will see small insects in them, even though you did not open the bottle for months. I usually store mine in the fridge in a glass jar.

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IMG_3099 Ingredients for Posto Bhaate are:

Half cup poppy seeds/posto, soaked in water for 10 minutes and sieved
1 small red onion, finely chopped
4-5 green chilies, coarsely chopped
2-3 tablespoons mustard oil
Salt

Grind the poppy seeds in the smallest jar of your blender. Traditionally, the lady of the house would use the shil-nora to do this. (My Mum compares the texture of a good posto bata to chandan/sandalwood. Smooth.)

Add very little water while doing so. You will see that the poppy seeds change color from a dusty brown to a whitish color. Stop when you get a smooth but grainy texture to your posto.

Transfer to a steel tiffin box that should fit in the pressure cooker. To the posto, add the chopped green chilies and onion. Drizzle the mustard oil and season with salt. Mix.

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Close the lid of the tiffin box and place it in the pressure pan. Fill the pan with water up to two-thirds of the tiffin box. Cook on medium-high heat till one whistle goes off.

IMG_3086If you don’t have a pressure cooker, keep the closed tiffin box in a thick sauce pan, keep a weight on the lid of tiffin box, fill the pan up to two-thirds of the tiffin box with  water, cover the pan and cook for 15-18 minutes.

IMG_3093 Serve the Posto Bhaate with plain white rice, if you have children, remove the chili pieces from their share and add a little smear of ghee, that way they will not feel the zing of the mustard oil.

IMG_3095 A little Posto Bhaate and some hot rice usually starts some memorable meals in our home. But I will admit, sometimes I have been so carried away by its simple taste, I have eaten all my rice with the Posto Bhaate. Trust me, its that good. Second only to the afternoon snooze it will induce.

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20 comments:

Amarnath said...

Love the way the chilly snakes atop the bhaater peak....

GB said...

Love aloo poshto--but you already knew that!

What is the karela doing up there? Let me guess---tonight's dinner? :)

Pushpa said...

Looks delicious.

Sulagna said...

Uff dekhei bari-r kotha mone pore gelo..Posto bhaate khete amar aloo posto-r thekeo beshi bhalo lage..Darun hoyeche tomar ta :)

Pressure Cooker Man said...

Looks really nice food - you're making me hungry!!

Scribbler :) said...

one of my all time favs....and amazing that I almost forgot about it. Will make it soon. Thanks!

purplehomes said...

thanks to all these yummy posts...i finally did what i love best..baking...made some peanut butter cookies:) The pics look so divine! I mil makes this quite often and we all love it:)

Shilpi Bose said...

Thanks for visiting my site.For quite some years now the Calcutta potols are available here in Bombay and that has made life easy for us. I simply love them they have a wonderful flavour.
As for posto bhaate like a true Bengali, notwithstanding the fact that I am a fourth generation probashi Bengali, I simply love posto bhaate.

Sound Horn Please said...

I think I've mentioned elsewhere on this blog before. My mother in law grew up in Calcutta, and among the dishes she makes Poshto tops my fave list. I recently bought a bottle of poppy seeds to try making it at home. Now that I've read this, I'm going to make it asap as I can't wait to eat it.

Kuntala said...

My mouth is watering already Pree...

shooting star said...

would definitely try this one out!!!!

Sayantani said...

eta khub notun...ami boro hoechi Birbhum e tai posto akkebare must amar menute. specially sundayte posto bata bhat kheye ghum ghum nijhum...ahha

sinfullyspicy said...

This is definetely P,s fav.I make ut almost twice a week.And a deep deep sleep inducer with looong snores :) No, I didnt do any turkey!!Would have been little too much for 2 ppl :)

mumbai Paused said...

I have heard that one would fail the drug test after having this meal. Is it true or just a Bengali story?

PreeOccupied said...

@Mumbai Paused, whatever they told you about Posto is all true. :-)

sinfullyspicy said...

I made this yest your way.Normally, I make my MIL's way she basically brings the posto paste with some water,salt,greenchillies and raw mustard oil to a boil in a kadai.I steamed it yest as you said.P said he liked it as a variation..thank you :)

Sanchita said...

My all time favorite :) I remember my mom used to make this, we call it "Bati posto". :)

Ushnish Ghosh said...

Dear pree
got the small print of the recipe ..I will try as soon as I get a good quality posto...the market is flooded with some cheap and weird posto . must be from Afghanistan..and the price have come down from 1000Rs a Kg to 450
very nice recipe indeed

Debjani said...

oh wow..my fav..thanks for the recipe and lovely shots!! u rock

Debasmita Lahari said...

Completely forgot about it. . As a child, we used to have it quiet often. .I will surely prepare this :)