– A true Bengali delicacy to have for your offbeat dinner.
The Bengalis swear by two things – a fill of Posto Baata or Alu Posto with rice and an afternoon siesta thereafter. Posto or poppy seeds, also known as khus khus in other parts of the country enriches our taste buds, cools down our bodies, and simultaneously heals our digestive system. The Posto Chicken recipe described here is a true-blue Bong recipe born in our ancestors’ kitchens when they discovered the power of Posto as a condiment enhancing the taste along with thickening the gravy.
History of Posto
Though the poppy seeds and their farming originated in the Middle East back during the Sumerian Civilization, the British colonization in Bengal started its abundant agriculture in the fertile lands of Bengal for supplying the booming opium trade in China during those years. The food grain farmers suffered exploitations in the hands of the British for increasing the production of the poppy seeds to the extent where their families spent days with immense hunger.
The British eliminated the dried poppy seeds as waste before collecting the opium. Desperate foraging by the women of the opium farmers’ families led to the discovery of posto baata or paste of poppy seeds that they could have with their rice plates.
Thus, posto, entered Bengali culinary. And today, we can add it to any preparation, be it veg or non-veg. Bengalis even have posto bata (or paste) with nothing but green chilies and a tinge of mustard oil.
Food Historian Chitrita Bannerjee rightly says about posto, though the benefits of khus khus are accepted in other parts of India, “it’s single-minded utilisation is only to be seen in Bengal.” Undoubtedly, our easy dinner recipe of Posto Chicken takes a cue from her this particular observation.
So that’s the history, let’s concentrate now on the recipe:
Preparation of Posto Chicken:
For the Posto chicken recipe, you will require the following ingredients:
- Chicken – 500 gms
- Tomato – 1 small
- Onion (fined sliced) – 1 large
- Onion (finely chopped) – 1 large
- Cashew Nuts – 5 gms (optional)
- Green Chillies (slit) – 4-5
- Ginger (1 inch) – sliced
- Garlic (10 cloves) – chopped
- Poppy Seeds (Posto) – ½ cup
- Dried Melon Seeds (Charmagaj) – 1/4 cup
Make sure that the proportion of the charmagaj and posto is 2:1
- Whole Garam Masala – 1 tsp
- Bay leaves
- Dried red chillies – 2
- Garam Masala Powder – ½ tsp
- Coriander Powder – ½ tsp
- Cumin Powder – ½ tsp
- Whole Cumin Seeds – ½ tsp
- Refined Oil – 2 tbsp
- Ghee – 1/2 tbsp
- Curd – 200 gms
- Salt – According to taste
- Turmeric Powder – 1 small pinch
Posto chicken video
How to cook Posto Chicken
- Heat 1 tbsp oil. Add the whole garam masala, a bay leaf, a bit of salt, sliced ginger, chopped garlic cloves, chopped onion, green chillies, chopped tomato and cashew nuts in the oil and sauté for 4-5 minutes.
- Add in cumin powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder. Mix in for 2 minutes
- Turn off the flame and leave it too cool.
- Blend the masala into a fine paste.
- Marinate the chicken with 200 gms yoghurt, the cooked masala paste and a bit of oil. Keep in the refrigerator for half an hour.
- In the meantime, make a paste with the charmagaj and poppy seeds.
- Once the chicken is marinated, heat the pan.
- Add the ghee and oil. As they heat up, add coriander seeds, a bay leaf, 2 dried red chillies and fine sliced onions. Fry for 2 minutes.
- Add the marinated chicken. Cover and cook for a minute and turned the flame to medium.
- After 10 – 15 minutes, add the poppy seed and charmagaj paste. Mix in well.
- Cook on a medium flame for 15 more minutes.
- You can optionally add a drop of keora water before serving the Posto chicken piping hot. But, if you are trying it for the first time, taste the posto preparation without adding it.
How to enjoy Posto chicken?
The Posto Chicken can be a perfect choice during summer dinner get-togethers or quick lunch parties in your homes. This easy chicken recipe goes absolutely fabulous with Rotis, Paranthas, Basanti Pulao, Luchi or Plain Sweet Pulao.