This is for Bengalis all over the world who love their posto and siesta. In that same order. During my life in Delhi, I’d be surprised how the entire stretch of CR Park would look deserted in the PM hours of 1-4. All the Bengalis would shutter down their shops and stores and do a tene ghoom, Bengali for undisturbed, worry-less sleep. Very disturbing for the economy of the small migrant Bengali business community in Delhi. But who cares! Bengalis are not a business community anyway.
When we were kids, there was a convenience store or Dadu’r dokaan in the neighbourhood in Patna. I don’t even know why we called a 50-year-old man a Dadu! “Uncle” or Kaku sounds more respectable for a man that age. What made it worse was even our parents called him Dadu.
Now Dadu would shut shop during lunch and until dusk set in and go into temporary hibernation everyday. The grapevine had it that Didima would wake him up around five with a steaming cup of chaa and ready him with her kucho nimki, muri and tele bhaja, or some days a gorom shingara. These would propel Dadu back to work, before he shut shop again by eight. So we had a small window from 10 AM to 12 noon and again from 5:30 to eight in the evening to get our refill of lemonchus, chanachur, toffee, chire bhaja, pachok, dim, pauruti, makhon, jam, jelly, etc.
And Dadu would do it everyday for years. That’s how loyal he was. About getting his Zzzzs. Maybe he also had Pyanj Posto for lunch in lavish quantities along with his gobindobhog rice. But that we will never find out.
Ingredients for Pyanj Posto are:
1 large red onion, thinly slivered
4-5 tablespoons of white poppy seeds/posto + a little more to sprinkle
3-4 green chillies, slit
Half teaspoon turmeric powder
3-4 tablespoons mustard oil
Start by grinding the posto. Many people ask me how to do it in a grinder. Here is an easy way. Start by dry grinding first and then add water, little by little. To get the right consistency for the dish you are making. For Pyanj Posto, we will need a not-so-smooth posto bata/wet ground poppy seeds. You could throw in a couple of green chillies too when you are grinding the posto for extra heat.
Then add the posto paste. Move everything around to coat the onions with the posto.
Turn the heat off when the Pyanj Posto is bhaja-bhaja. Take the pan to the dining table to serve the Pyanj Posto with plain white rice. You may experience bouts of bliss eating the Pyanj Posto with bhaat.
Other posto recipes from me are here.