How do you recognize a bong family in one go especially when you find a bunch of people in a tourist destination! Well, there are too many ways available but one unique way is to check whether they are searching for a “Pure Bengali Hotel” (not restaurant) for having their favorite Bhat, Daal and Aloo Posto! Sounds wired! But not to us! We can search for our favorite comfort platter in any place, in any weather! The true blue bong delicacy Aloo Posto is less a dish to cherish but more of an emotion to us!
I realized one weird thing while writing the post 20 Bengali Dishes to Try Before You Die! that I have not shared my experience with Aloo Posto so far! Am I really allowed to consider myself a Bengali Food Blogger as the Baap of the Bengali comfort food is missing from my blog! Can anybody be able to think about a Bengali kitchen without Posto! Don’t even think about it! We Bongs can have Posto in any condition starting from birth to death and even during Marriage! The deadly combo of Aloo Posto and Kalai Er Daal is life savor to many of us.
Just for the sake of the readers, Aloo Posto is a Potato curry prepared with a thick paste of Poppy Seed or Khuskhus.
By birth, I am Ghoti (a person having root in West Bengal) and alike every Ghoti family mine is also too much close to Posto! Though I know many Bangal families (a person having root in Bangladesh) are also close to Posto. In fact, I believe few foods have the power to cross many barriers. My journey of having Posto started from my house whore Posto r Tarkari or aloo Posto with Kalai er Daal used to prepare at least once in a week with moderate use of Posto. It is not that I don’t love Posto r Tarkari but sometimes got irritated having an overdose of it whenever I am in my in law’s place.
My MIL has a tendency to prepare Posto almost every day! Whether you like it or not you have to have Posto! This is her Rule of Posto! One thing I hate about making Posto is using the lesser amount of Posto in the Sabzi and that is what Mom does and she mostly serves it with Masoor Daal! Obviously, she has to do it given Posto or Poppy seed is an expensive one and it is not possible to make it in bulk at least thrice a week.
Then there is Posto r Tarkari prepared in every Hostel where 3 times extra Shorshe (Mustard Seed) or Til (Sesame Seed) and sometimes Sooji (Semolina) added while making the dish! I still remember having Posto r Tarkari punched with Mustard in university hostel in Kalyani University and Hubby shares similar story about Jadavpur University hostel and this proves that all hostels are “bhai bhai” (having brotherly relation) while it is coming to substitute Posto with less expensive ingredients but to serve and make hungry students happy and in hostels you can’t expect any special type of Daal; anything can be served.
Finally coming to Debjani’s own kitchen I prefer to use a bit extra Posto while making Aloo Posto and for my Aloo Posto, Kalai er Daal has to be there along with a piece of Gondhoraj Lebu (Lime).
I have started this post with a tagline that Aloo Posto is the ultimate comfort food when it comes to the food preference of a bong. We were traveling almost for 15 days in Kerala along with Pasta and after returning first thing I prepared for dinner is Aloo Posto and Kalai er Daal and Pasta cherished her dinner like anything and so I am. Same thing happens after Durga Puja; we used to have food in our complex along with all the residents to celebrate Pooja and the first thing I cooked after Puja is again Aloo Posto and Kalai er Daal!
One Bong may complain why I am sharing the recipe of Aloo Posto; after all, everybody knows it! While another group can think to thanks me as they don’t need to call their Mom for the recipe! Do try and share your experience with your Mom…. Or just cook for your loving and caring wife! Or maybe for a bunch of friends craving for Aloo Posto or to just to cherish yourself with the goodness of very much Bengali Aloo Posto!
- Potato: 4 (Big size)
- Poppy Seed/ Posto/ Khuskhus: 4 Tbsp. (adjust as per your need; I prefer to add 1 Tbsp. for each piece of Potato)
- Green Chili: 3-4
- Onion Seed/ Kalo Jeera: ½ Tsp. (optional)
- Salt: 1 Tsp.
- Mustard Oil: 2 Tbsp.
- Soak Poppy Seed or Posto in plain water for 30 minutes and then make a thick paste using Shil Nora or a food processor. I prefer to add 1 green chili while making the paste.
- Add a little salt to the Poppy Seed Paste.
- In case you are not available with a Shil Nora (shil batta) or food processor, you can use the dry jar of a mixer grinder to make a powder of Poppy seed and can add water after making the powder to make the paste.
- Wash Potatoes thoroughly and cut into small cubes and soak in water. Soaking potatoes it required else potatoes will turn dirty light brown in color.
- Now heat the oil in a deep bottom pan and temper it with Onion Seed or Kalo jeera. Adding Kalo Jeera is completely optional but I love to add it.
- Add Potato cubes in the oil and start frying in medium flame for 3-4 minutes r till Potatoes soften a bit.
- Now add a little salt and give it a mix and add slit green Chilies.
- Add 1 cup of water to cover the potatoes and cover the pan with a lid.
- Cook till potatoes soften completely and then add Poppy seed paste to the boiled potatoes and give Aloo Posto a careful mix.
- Cook till the raw smell of Poppy Seed paste gone completely and adjust water if required.
- Adjust gravy according to your preference. I prefer a medium thick Aloo Posto.
The Ideal pairing for Aloo Posto!
Nothing but Kalai-er Daal. A plate full of rice, Kalai-er Daal, Aloo Posto, Lebu and Lanka and you are through!