It’s starting to rain at Bangalore these days. I love the rains. I miss the fact that it rains here usually in the afternoon. When I was growing up at Ranchi, there were no such timing. In fact there were quite a few days when it rained 5-6 days continuously. I have special memories of the lunch mom used to serve during these days. After coming back from school, I had to have bath (else no lunch). And after that she used to serve traditional Bengali recipes. Believe me, I was not fond of vegetables but during rains when served hot I used to relish them. And the best such combination was Khichudi (or Khichdi) served with Papad and Aloo Poshto. It used to be both me and my brother’s favorite.
Aloo Poshto is a traditional Bengali delicacy. There are various methods of preparing it. But there are 2 major styles of it, East and West Bengali style. In the East Bengali style (which is what my side of family follows), we usually have it dry and by adding turmeric. West Bengalis (Sumi’s side of family) on the other hand love it plain white (without any turmeric), and usually as a watery curry. In fact Poppy Seeds are so famous among the West Bengali households that they literally “pop” them into any vegetable preparation. Sumi loves it that way. And I love our way of preparation.
Today I will post my mom’s version of the dish. It is the East Bengal style of preparing it. We will post the other version, when Sumi decides to make it and write about it because I have no clue how that one is made. Also this version is completely vegetarian (means it doesn’t use any onion and garlic too). Hope you all enjoy it.
- Potato – 4 big
- Poppy Seeds (Khus Khus) – 100gm
- Green Chillies – 3 to 4
- Kaalo Jeera (Black Cumin Seeds) – 1 pinch
- Heeng (Asafoetida) – 1 pinch
- Chilli Powder – 1tsp
- Sugar – 1tsp
- Turmeric Powder – 2 pinches
- Mustard Oil – 4 Tbsp
- Salt – to taste
- Coriander Leaves – For garnish (Optional)
Grind the poppy seeds and 2 green chillies into a paste (usually you need to dry roast the poppy seeds, then grind coarsely along with the chilies by adding little water). Make sure you make a proper paste but don’t make it runny. Keep aside.
Wash the pototoes. Peel and cut them into small cubes. Keep aside.
In a wok, heat mustard oil. Add a pinch of black cumin seeds and asafoetida. It will start sizzling immediately.
Add the potato cubes to the mixture and keep frying. When they start to get fried, add salt, turmeric powder, chilli powder and sugar. Slit 2 green chillies in the centre and add them to the mixture. Mix well.
Now reduce the flame and cover the wok and let it cook. In regular intervals, remove the cover and stir it nicely.
When everything mixes well and get fried properly, add the poppy seed paste that was kept aside. Mix well.
Cover the wok and let it cook. At regular intervals keep turning and stirring the mixture well and keep changing the flame from slow to medium and vice versa. The idea is to cook it well without burning the spices.
If the potatoes don’t get boiled properly, sprinkle water on the mixture and keep turning.
Once the complete mixture get fried properly and the potatoes are boiled well, remove from the flame.
Garnight with coriander leaves.