An authentic fake Bengali classic: Posto Murgi or chicken in poppy seeds



I am quite sure that there is actually a Bengali dish called Posto Murghi (Chicken in poppy seeds). The Ghotis (Bengalis from West Bengal) would have thought of that. They are the priests of poppy or posto after all.
I am a Bangal (Bengali from East Bengal). Well, my parents were born in Bangladesh, though neither lived there. But I love alu posto (potatoes in poppy seeds). So I am sure that my attempts to stray into Ghoti territory can be allowed. The dish I am writing about is posto murgi in essence. It is definitely not the traditional or authentic recipe though. But I can vouch for its taste.
Today Banu, who pretends to be our cook and is more my sous chef, called me at work for instructions on what to make for dinner. I instructed her on how to make a version of posto chicken. I had conjured the dish up myself and left the base masala at home for her.
I was quite pleased with the end result. The dish was nice and light, subtly flavoured, with the crushed posto giving it a bit of character. It worked pretty well for dinner in my opinion as it was well flavoured and yet not heavy and didn’t tax one.
Following it up with Ferrero Rocher and then some of the lovely Chinese tea that Neera gave me in KL seemed just right. Check out the beautiful tea set that she gave us. Now you know why I am so in love with KL and its people.

Yes, yes here’s my recipe for Posto Murgi:

·         Take a tablespoon of cooking oil and heat in a saucepan
·         Add half a finely chopped onion and sauté till the onion is translucent
·         Add a tablespoon each of ginger and garlic paste and stir till borwn
·         Add half a finely chopped tomato and stir till tomatoes go soft
·         Add base masala – 1 teaspoon each of coriander, cumin and red chilli powder, half a teaspoon each of sugar and one tablespoon of salt
·         Add 50 g of posto/ poppy seeds/ khus khus earlier ground in a grinder and mixed with a bit of water to make a paste, to the pan
·         Add a kilo of whole chicken and two halved potatoes
·         Stir for a while till the skin/ surface of the chicken looks cooked (browner, crinkled)
·         Add half a cup of skimmed milk, bring to a boil, reduce flame and let it simmer for about fifteen minutes
·         The dish is done, close the flame and garnish with split green chillies, some cloves and cardamoms
·         I ate it with chapattis. I think that the dish was not robust enough to have with rice. Then end effect could have been a bit bland then.

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