Monday, June 23, 2014

Green Beans in White Poppy Seed Sauce

Green Beans Posto
Posto or white poppy seeds when ground to a paste with salt and green chillies makes a wonderful sauce for all kinds of vegetables. The vegetables are first cooked with ginger paste until almost done and the poppy seed paste is added at the end and simmered for a very short time. 

This dish is a favourite in the Bengali household. It is generally eaten at lunch, makes one feel really mellow and induces sound sleep. 

4 Tbsp. white poppy seeds (posto)
1 cup Water

3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
½ tsp. nigella seeds (kalo jeera/kalonji)

1 lb. green beans, sliced width-wise into small circles
1 russet potato, peeled and diced 
2 tsp. ginger paste
Salt to taste

1 tsp. ghee or melted Butter
2 – 3 green chillies, left whole

1. Boil a cup of water in the microwave, pour over poppy seeds in a bowl and cover.
2. Set poppy seeds aside for half an hour to cool and soften.
2. Puree poppy seeds and soaking water in a blender until it reaches the consistency of a thick sauce. 
3. Heat oil in a pan over medium-high heat and add nigella seeds.
4. When the seeds begin to sputter and sizzle, add vegetables, ginger paste and salt.
5. Lower heat to medium-low and cook for 10 minutes until vegetables are tender.
6. Adjust salt to taste and cook for 5 minutes.
7. Add pureed poppy seeds and stir until well combined.
8. Cook for 2 minutes until sauce reduces and just coats the beans.
9. Garnish with ghee & whole chillies and transfer to a serving dish.

Serve with steamed Basmati rice or chapatis.

The green beans can be replaced with several other vegetables, such as eggplant, cauliflower, potatoes, zucchini, ridge gourd (jhinge), sweet potatoes, pumpkin, etc.

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