Aloo posto (potatoes in poppy seeds)

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Aloo posto is one of my favourite dishes in my grandmother’s house, and so when I came back I decided that I didn’t want to wait another year until I can eat it again. The addictive poppy seeds on soft pieces of potato are just too scrumptious! A quick trip to an Indian supermarket yielded a packet of poppy seeds, and some Internet research showed me how easily it could be recreated. I’ll admit, I cheated a little, as you are supposed to grind the poppy seeds and I didn’t have a small enough grinder or even a pestle and mortar. Luckily, it turned out absolutely fantastic nonetheless, so I have now decided that grinding is unnecessary!

 Serves 2-3 people
  • 3 tbsp khus-khus / posto / poppy seeds
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp whole cumin seeds (jeera)
  • 2 large potatoes, cut into 1″ cubes
  • 2 green chillies, chopped
  • 1 tsp salt (and more to taste)
Soak the poppy seeds in 1 cup warm water for 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and keep aside (careful, as the seeds stick to EVERYTHING).
Heat the oil in a pan and add the cumin seeds. Fry for about 2 minutes, or until they start splattering in your face (this is what happened to me). Then add the potatoes and cook for 5 minutes on medium heat, stirring frequently to avoid burning. Be patient, as this is a key part of the process. Add 1 tsp salt here as well.
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Now add the poppy seeds and the chillies. Fry for 3 mins and then top off with 1 cup of water and cook covered for 10-12 mins until the potatoes are cooked through.
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Remove from stove and serve warm with rice (it also goes well with sour and spicy aubergine).
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