Potol posto is another Bengali delicacy which is a hidden gem in the flavorful Bengali cuisine. The humble potol a.k.a. parwal gets a delicious makeover in our kitchen which you will definitely love!
Being a Bengali I have been fed authentic Bengali dishes throughout my childhood and like each one of you, those childhood dishes have engraved a significant mark on my soul. Every time I make one of those dishes, I can’t stop myself to go on a journey down the memory lane and start feeling nostalgic! Today’s recipe of potol posto is one of those memory-mongers and I can’t stretch enough how much I love this feeling! Posto or poppy has a substantial place in Bengali cuisine and you will find various uses of these seeds. I have already shared my favorite dim posto i.e. egg curry with poppy seeds paste which is very well-loved at my home. Today’s potol posto is a vegetarian version of an almost similar recipe and is equally appetizing.
Potol or parwal is a very common vegetable available across the country but mostly popular in the Northern part of India. Being a seasonal veggie you will only get it during the summer in the months of March through June. I always love to use seasonal veggies as you will get them in their best possible form only during their harvesting season. This potol posto tastes best with the fresh green parwals which do not have seeds inside. The gravy of potol posto is thick and clings to the green veggies making them incredibly tasty.
Although the recipe is popularly known as potol posto, there is additional kick from the mustard powder. Bengalis are very fond of mustard and use it extensively to make steamed fish or vegetables curries in mustard sauce. In this recipe of potol posto, the sweetness of posto a.k.a. khus khus is perfectly complimented by the pungency of the mustard paste. The combination of these two Bengali classics creates wonders and makes an unbelievably tasty dish served best with plain white rice.
It’s quite likely that you will have someone in the family who don’t like parwal. Try this dish at home and convince them to taste at least once, I am sure they will fall for it. The posto or poppy seeds have an addictive power which tames even the fiercest vegetable haters! Also, khus khus is known to have cooling property which helps to cool down your digestive system in the hot summers as well as help you get a sound sleep at night. A very easy recipe which tastes great and offers load of health benefits – try this amazing potol posto soon and let me know how it worked for you and your family!
- Parwal - 500 gms
- Mustard oil - 5 tbsp
- Kalonji/kala jeera - ½ tsp
- Green chili – 2, slit lengthwise
- Posto/poppy seeds - 2tbsp
- Mustard powder - 3 tbsp
- Turmeric powder - 1 tbsp
- Sugar – ½ tsp
- Salt to taste
- Soak the poppy seeds/khus khus in room temperature water for 30 minutes. Drain and grind them using minimal water until you get a smooth & thick paste. Set it aside.
- Whisk the dry mustard powder in half a cup of water and set aside until further use.
- Cut both the ends of each parwal and peel them. I generally peel the skin in alternative strips lengthwise to make it look good. You can even peel it completely. Then cut each parwal into half lengthwise. Wash and set aside.
- Heat 4 tablespoons of oil in a kadhai/wok. Once the oil is hot, temper it with kalonji and slit green chilies. Let them crackle and become fragrant for half a minute.
- Then add the cut parwals and sauté them until golden brown. This would take 15 to 20 minute on medium-low heat. You can also cover and fry the parwals on lowest heat to expedite the process.
- Then add the poppy seeds paste and mustard powder mixture to the kadhai. Also add turmeric powder, sugar and salt to taste.
- Sauté the spices on medium heat for 10 minutes until oil starts to release. Then add about a cup of water or just enough to keep the parwals inside the water.
- Bring the liquid to a rolling boil. Then cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes or until the parwal pieces are soft and cooked through.
- Once the veggies are cooked through, boil off any excess water by cooking it uncovered on high flame for few minutes. The consistency of the gravy should be thick and clinging to the vegetables. Check and adjust for the seasoning if needed.
- Remove from flame and serve the hot potol posto with rice and dal. Enjoy!