The ‘Chingri-Aloo Posto’ or potato and shrimp curry in poppy seed paste, is a quintessential item of the Bengali cuisine, without this the Sunday Bong lunch is always incomplete. ‘Posto’ or poppy seeds (also known as Khas Khas in Hindi) can be used in both vegetarian dishes and non-veg items. Here I have added some shrimps along with the potato to give the exotic twist. If you don’t like prawns or are vegetarian, you can omit it and still savor the subtle taste of poppy or as we call it in Bengali ‘Posto’.
We Bengalis love mustard oil like no one else, some of my non-friends tell me how I can tolerate mustard oil, it smells so strong… I say if you have never tasted food cooked in mustard oil, specilly the fish recipes, then you have definitely missed something really good. So try it this with mustard oil. I love ‘posto’ so much that I have already shared many ‘posto’ recipes… but try this one… it’s really awesome!
- 2 (Large – Peeled and cubed) Potatoes
- ½ cup Small/Medium sized prawns or shrimps
- 6 Tbsps Poppy Seeds
- 1 (Large – Thinly sliced) Onion
- 2 to 3 (Slit from middle) Green Chilli
- 1 Whole Red Chilli
- ¼ tsp Chilli Powder
- 3 – 4 Tbsps Mustard Oil
- ½ tsp Turmeric Powder
- to taste Salt – According
- Soak the poppy seeds in warm water for 30 minutes and make a fine paste. Add dry red chilli while making this paste. If you do not want it too hot you may not use the dry red chilli.
- Devein the shrimps and marinate them with little salt and turmeric powder and keep aside.
- Heat 3 Tbsp of mustard oil in a wok and add chopped onion. Fry till it becomes translucent.
- Add the cubed potatoes and fry in low flame. Add 2 green chilli and keep frying. You can put a lid after a while to make the potatoes tender.
- Add the marinated shrimps and keep frying. If you wish you can fry the shrimps separately and add them later.
- Now add the poppy seed paste and fry until the water in the paste dries up considerably.
- Add a little water and a red chillie powder. Cover and cook for sometimes till the potatoes are done. You may add 1 tsp of mustard oil add this stage to get extra pungent smell of mustard oil.
- Take it off the flame when the potato has become soft and the prawns are cooked.
- Serve with dal and steamed rice.