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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Aloo Posto (Potato in Poppy Seed Paste)


Few realize while eating Posto that they are actually having a part of the same plant that gives us opium.

Not realizing does have significant repercussions in some cases. Like the mom who had poppy seed salad the day before delivering a baby. A mandatory drug test the following day showed her to be “high” on opiates leading social service to take her baby away. Moral of the story “avoid posto before delivery”.

Now in case you are not in that 0.00000001% of my readers who is going to deliver tomorrow, lets get down to the business of making and having some aloo-posto.



  1. 1/2 cup posto ( Poppy seeds )
  2. 5,6 medium potatoes cut into medium dices
  3. 1 large onion thinly sliced
  4. 5,6 green chilies
  5. 1,2 Dry whole red chilies
  6. 1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
  7. Salt
  8. Sugar
  9. 3,4 tbsp. mustard oil


For alu posto we need to make a tight paste of poppy seeds.

Traditionally this paste was made in Shil Noda, and the paste was suppose to be like sandal paste, or chandan bata. I dry grind poppy seeds in my coffee grinder and later add little amount of water to make a paste. You can also use a wet grinder to make a fine paste of poppy seeds with 2 dry red chilies in one go.

Heat oil in a kadai or wok and add onion slices and green chilies to it. Fry on medium heat till the edges turn brown. Throw the diced potatoes to it followed by turmeric powder. Fry the potatoes for a while and season it with salt and little bit of sugar. Add about 1/4th cup of water to it. Keep it covered and cook on low flame till the potatoes are 3/4th done and most of the moisture has evaporated. IMG_1031

Add poppy seed paste over it . Don't mix at this point. Keep your Kadai covered for 1-2 mins on low heat.


The heat inside will cook the poppy seed paste. Now remove the lid and mix the paste with potato. By this time there will be no moisture left in it.Turn off the heat and serve.

Note: Poppy seed paste is not added along with potatoes because it has a tendency to stick to the bottom of the pan and get burnt.


Swagata Bhattacharyya said...

Hi Somtapa, I was inspired by your tip of using coffee grinder to dry grind posto and got a coffee grinder today. Now I am confused if I am supposed to wash it and grind or just grind it. I have always seen posto soaked in water before grinding. Just wondering if that is just for ease of grinding or for cleaning it as well? I suppose after I dry grind it there's no way to wash it.

Somtapa Brahmachari said...

No way you can wash and grind posto in coffee grinder. If you are planning to make posto and really want to wash it, I would suggest to wash and air dry posto one or two days before.