About this Recipe
Aloo posto is a traditional Bengali comfort food — creamy potatoes with a distinctive nutty taste thanks to a mixture of poppy and nigella seeds. The mustard oil adds a smoky aroma, and the green chiles add a slow heat.
Mustard contains many health-promoting phytochemicals including carotenoids, phenolic compounds, and glucosinolates that act as detoxifiers against oxidative stress. Mustard is also a rich source of dietary folate and vitamin A, and has been used in several Asian traditions to treat contact dermatitis, cardiovascular ailments, and respiratory distress.
2 to 4 Servings
- 3 Tbsp (27 g) poppy seeds
- 2 small green or Thai chiles, one whole and one slit in half lengthwise
- 2 Tbsp (30 ml) mustard oil
- 1 tsp nigella seeds
- 11 oz (310 g) potatoes such as russet, boiled until just tender, peeled, and cut into about 1/2-inch (or slightly smaller) cubes
- Pinch of turmeric powder
- Pinch of salt
- 3 Tbsp (45 ml) water
- 1/2 tsp sugar (optional)
- 1 tsp ghee
Step 1Make the poppy seed paste: Soak the poppy seeds in a small bowl of water for an hour. Strain and grind the seeds with the whole green chile using a mortar and pestle. Add a splash of water if needed while grinding. This creamy seed-chile paste will be grainy to touch. Set aside.
Step 2In a wide pan, heat the mustard oil on medium heat for a minute, until the raw smell of the oil dissipates. Reduce the heat, add the nigella seeds, and let them crackle in the hot oil. Add the slit green chile, followed by the potatoes. Turn up the heat to medium, add the poppy seed-chile paste, turmeric, and salt. Mix well and add 3 Tbsp water to let the seed paste cover the potatoes uniformly. You can add the sugar (if using) at this point. Cover the pan, and let it cook for a minute. Lower the heat, uncover, stir, and let the moisture evaporate. Add ghee and mix well. Serve hot with rice.
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