Posto or khas khas is used in Bengali kitchens in several different ways. You can make different kinds of vegetable like aloo, jhinge etc in posto, posto bhaja (fried) or posto bora (fritters) and of course fish, shrimp and chicken curries.
I am not sure when poppy seeds were incorporated in Bengali cooking as they are not native to the region [for an interesting history of this plant's travels around the world, see this]. And these poppy seeds, needless to say, aren't going to get you high! Opium is made from unripe poppy seeds.
I combined both potatoes and the cute ball zucchinis I found in the grocery store and cooked them in posto paste. Here is the recipe.
Ingredients: (2-3 people)
2 medium Potatoes -peeled and chopped in cubes
2 medium Zucchinis - chopped in cubes
2 tbspoon Posto
1/4 tspoon Mustard Seeds
1 cube Ginger
4 green Chillis
1/2 tspoon Paanch Phoron (Paanch phoron, as the name suggests, contains five ingredients - cumin seeds, fennel seeds, radhuni, nigella seeds and mustard seeds. It is available in Indian stores or you can make your own.)
1/4 tspoon turmeric
1/2 cup water
1 tspoon oil
Salt to taste
Soak the posto in warm water for atleast 30 minutes. Grind to a fine paste with mustard seeds, 2 green chillis and ginger.
Heat oil and temper it with remaining green chillis and paanch phoron.
Add the potatoes, zucchini and turmeric powder and saute for a few minutes.
Add the posto paste and salt. Cook with the vegetables for a couple of minutes.
Add the water and cook in low heat for about 15-20 minutes till potatoes and zucchini are cooked.
My mom would add 1/2 tspoon mustard oil and a little sugar just before she removed it from the flame. It adds a special zing to the dish.Serve with chapatis or rice.
This is my (late) entry to the great Curry Mela hosted at Anthony's Kitchen.