Monday, July 14, 2014

Posto Bara (Poppy Seeds fritter)

In most Odiya households, there are certain days of the week that are followed as vegetarian days (Mondays and Thursdays are the most commonly followed ones). I am not sure but this may be an entirely unique trait of the Odiya culture. That is in comparison to most other cultures where people are either vegetarian or not. So in those vegetarian days, my mom had to be really innovative to keep us happily fed (us being me and Baba - my dad). Posto Bara was a favorite for those days. It is one of those dishes which is made widely in Odiya and Bengali households.

My dad is from Mayurbhanj and they use poppy seed a lot in their cuisine. Patua also known as Patrapoda is a delicious flavorful poppy seed and mustard seed paste-based dish with tiny fishes cooked in leaf-wrap in the clay oven. My mom can make it in a regular pot as well. I have tried but can never get the same flavors. It is an intricate and careful preparation. My Didi (my paternal grandmom) also used to make it really well. Some food memories for sure...

Posto Bara is something I have been planning to make since ages. However, my last few attempts at making anything using poppy seed has been a disaster - too much mustard leading to bitter taste, coarse paste texture due to incompetent blender, etc, etc. So finally I turned around and got enthu to take another stab at it. Voila - it was a success. We loved it! Friends visiting us loved it! Got another friend who was missing her mom's food to try it - She also loved it! :)

My childhood friend Sonali's preparation - One of the best cooks, for sure! :)

This is so easy to make - I am pretty sure I will make it more often now.

Ingredients (makes about 60 small fritters)

Poppy Seeds - 2 cups
Maida - 1/2 cup
Onion - 1 medium, chopped finely
Potato - 1 large, chopped finely
Green Chilli - 3-4, chopped finely (optional)
Garlic or Onion-Ginger-Garlic Paste - 1 tbsp
Cumin-Chilli Powder - 1 tbsp
Salt - as per taste
Canola oil for shallow frying


Soak the Poppy Seeds overnight. I add warm water to begin with.
Take 1/2 tsp Canola oil and fry the finely chopped potatoes to cook it. It can be added as-is to the batter but I did not want to take the chance of it remaining raw.
Grind the Poppy Seeds to a fine batter - not too watery. As you take the batter in your hand, you should be able to mould it to the shape you want.
Add all the ingredients with the Poppy Seed batter and mix well.
Heat oil for shallow frying. Add the prepared batter to the hot oil as shown in pic below.
Cook one side. As it turns crispy and browns, it will easily move. Turn it upside down so that the other side can cook.
Place them in paper towel to pull away the extra oil.
Place them in a wax paper lined container.
Serve hot. Goes well with Rice-Dal as well as an appetizer.

Let me know if you get to try it. Have a great day!

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