Biulir dal o Jhinge Aloo posto / Urad dal & Potato with Ridge Gourd in poppy seed paste

Poppy seed alias “posto” (in Bengali) or khus khus (in Hindi) is used religiously in a number of vegetable curries in Bengal. Quite often, it is the sole dominant spice in dishes like “Aloo posto”(Potato curry with poppy seed) or “Jhinge – Aloo posto” (Ridge gourd and Potato curry with poppy seed) which are known to be signature Bengali curries. In fact vegetables such as pointed gourd, bitter gourd, and even just chopped onions make tasty curries with ‘posto’ paste. However, apart from vegetarian dishes, poppy seed paste is also used in few non-veg dishes as well. ‘Rui posto’ (Rohu fish curry with poppy seed) made by my mother is an all time favourite.

Here I will talk about “Jhinge Aloo posto” which is well served just with steamed plain rice. However, I always like to add “Builir dal” or urad dal to them. This combination is nothing short of divine to me and one of my favourite veg-dishes ever. I still recall that I was simply in awe of the combo dish prepared by my grandmother. Though I often try it at home, still never think of reaching her level. The whole recipe of “posto” curry seems to be very easy but in reality it is quite difficult to bring the actual taste. I am still working on it. 🙂

Biulir dal o Jhinge Aloo posto

Biulir dal o Jhinge Aloo posto

Ingredients to serve 4 :

For Jhinge Aloo Posto :

  1. Potato (medium size) – 3
  2. Ridge gourd – 2
  3. Poppy seed paste (with 2 green chillies) – 4 tbspoon heaped
  4. Slit green chilli – 2
  5. Turmeric powder – 1/3 teaspoon
  6. Salt to taste
  7. Cooking oil (preferably mustard oil) – 3-4 tbspoon

For Biulir dal or Urad dal :

  1. Udar dal – ½ cup
  2. Slit green chilli – 2
  3. Ginger paste – ½ tbspoon
  4. Fennel powder – 1 teaspoon
  5. Black cumin seed/kala jeera – ½ teaspoon
  6. Asafoetida (powder) – ½ teaspoon
  7. Turmeric powder – ¼ teaspoon
  8. Salt & sugar to taste
  9. Cooking oil – 1 tbspoon

Procedure :

For Jhinge Aloo Posto :

Peel and cut the potatoes into medium size cubes and ridge gourds into thick semi-circular slices.

Potato & Ridge gourd pieces

Potato & Ridge gourd pieces

Heat oil in frying pan or kadai over medium flame. Add potato cubes and fry for 3-4 minutes.

Then add ridge gourd pieces along with slit green chillies, salt and turmeric powder, mix them well. After a while ridge gourd will start releasing water.

As the water from ridge gourd dries up add poppy seed paste and fry till its raw flavour disappears.

Then add around 1 cup of water and give it a good stir. Cover the pan with a lead and let it cook on low flame for few minutes.

Uncover the lid and check for the vegetables. As they get cooked and most of the water dries out, raise the flame and stir continuously. At some point you will find oil coming out from the mixture, which is the right time to put the gas off.

Jhinge Aloo posto

Jhinge Aloo posto

For Biulir dal or Urad dal :

Wash the lentils for 2-3 times and then pressure cook it with 1½ – 2 cups of water up to 2 whistle. Lentils should be boiled still hold its structure, a mushy end product is not desirable. Add slit green chillies, ginger paste and fennel powder to the boiled lentils in the pressure cooker, mix them well.

Now heat oil in a large pan over medium flame. Add asafoetida and black cumin seed, let it splutter and then add boiled lentils into it. Add, turmeric powder, salt and sugar. Also add little water and let it boil for few minutes so that all the flavour of the spices can infuse well into it.

Put the gas off as you get your desired consistency. I like it to be a little watery. 🙂

Biulir Dal

Biulir Dal

Serve with plain rice.

Note :

  1. If you have a flat stone grinder (Shil nora) in your home then make a paste of ginger and fennel seeds together. This pate is next to impossible to make in my blender so I used fennel powder and ginger paste separately.
  2. One can make it with only potatoes without using ridge gourd.
  3. If you are using solid asafoetida or a strong one then use just pinch of that. The product I used is not very strong, so had to add ½ teaspoon.

6 thoughts on “Biulir dal o Jhinge Aloo posto / Urad dal & Potato with Ridge Gourd in poppy seed paste

    • Try this dal Aruna……It is very flavourful but you have to be particular about the ingredients………and of course have it with “posto” :)….For me this dal doesn’t go very well with any other dish 😦


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