A much-loved and classic delicacy of every Bengali household, ALOO POSTO is an authentic and traditional dish. It is an easy to cook versatile side dish, that is good for health and taste buds too.
Bengal has introduced this delectable cuisine to the world. It dates back to British Raj and Mughal Era. Can you beleive it is born out of waste? A residual by-product of the opium plant, poppy seed has become a highly prized Indian spice.
Running out of edible produce, a farmer\"s wife used a paste of dry leftover poppy seeds with boiled potatoes and soaked leftover rice, and mustard oil. Poppy paste was also experimented with ridge gourd, bottle gourd, Ladies finger, cauliflower, brinjal and other vegetables. It soon became their staple food. From there it became one of the finest Bengali cuisines.
Prepared with less oil, few ingredients and seasoning, it is a vegetarian dish. The unique flavours of poppy seed paste and mustard oil give it its typical taste. It goes best with plain and thin masur and udad daal.
The next day after the wedding reception, the lunch usually has the fixed menu- rice and aloo posto, along with fish. To balance the late night heavy ane rich meal, it\"s befitting. It\"s also ideal to start with for a newbie. Even after an exhausting day you can easily prepare this dish in no time.
You can first roast the poppy seeds, and then paste it. You can also soak it in hot water for sometime, and then paste it. Add a little panchforon or jeera on the hot oil, if you wish to. You can add onions and green chillies too. For seasoning salt is enough. You can however add a pinch of hing and turmeric, though in traditional recipe, aloo posto is usually white, that is, without haldi. Add red chilli powder for a reddish colour.
You can pressure cook it when you are in hurry. Just keep the paste ready beforehand. You can have aloo posto fry and dry.
To beat the summer heat, for better sleep and relaxing the body, aloo posto is a must. By the way, I feed my son this coveted food, only because of my noble intention- of making him sleep for a longer time! How much I try to tap on the opium effect I fail!!