Saturday, August 22, 2015

Phool Kopi Karaishuti Posto - Cauliflower & Peas in White Poppy Seed Sauce

Phool Kopi Karaishuti Posto

White  poppy seed (posto in Bengali) is very versatile and can be added to any combination of vegetables. It is especially tasty with cauliflower and peas. 

This dish was introduced to me by my sister, Rene, who lives in Toronto in Canada. I specifically remember the evening she made this on one of my visits to Toronto. She had also made Chicken Razala whose leftovers she told me she'd packed for my husband to have when I got back home to Michigan. 

At the U.S. border, a female customs official questioned me about what food I was carrying in the car and I told her about the chicken. She asked me to pop the trunk and examined the ice chest, came back to me in a fit of anger and informed me that she could impound my car. Really startled, I asked her what the problem was and she said she found some cauliflower along with the chicken. I told her to take the entire contents of the ice chest and throw everything in the trash, for all I cared. Honestly! Give a woman a little bit of power and she's likely to go bonkers!

1 cauliflower, cut into small florets
salt to taste
1/8 tsp. turmeric
1 cup hot water

1 cup peas
4 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1/4 tsp. kalo jeera/kalonji/nigella seeds
2 green chilies, diced
1 tsp. ginger paste
1 beefsteak tomato, diced
3 Tbsp. white poppy seeds, powdered in coffee grinder
1 cup hot water
1/4 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. ghee/clarified butter
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
salt to taste


  1. Soak powdered white poppy seeds in a cup of hot water.
  2. Submerge the cauli florets in a cup of salted water & turmeric.
  3. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the cauli florets are half-cooked.
  4. Drain the cauli florets and discard the water.
  5. Heat oil over medium-high heat and sputter nigella seeds and chilies.
  6. Add ginger paste & tomatoes and stir-fry for 2 minutes.
  7. Add cauli florets, add salt to taste, stir well and simmer until oil resurfaces and the cauli florets are cooked.
  8. Pour peas, ground white poppy seeds and soaking liquid over cauli florets & simmer for 5 minutes.
  9. Add sugar, adjust salt to taste and garnish with ghee & chopped cilantro.
Serve with hot Basmati/jasmine rice or chapatis.

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