Sampurna Majumdar, the quintessential bong blogger from Life and Times, was quite happy to pen down a cute little note on her nostalgic memory of a vegan bong dish her granny and she would devour in the hot temperatures of Kolkata summer. Read on for the world’s easiest and tastiest dish… not to mention, the most inexpensive high that you can ever relish!!
‘Bhaat e Macch e Bangali’ (Rice and Fish make a true Bengali), so goes an adage. True… Food has always been a weakness for Bongs!! The quintessential “Bangali Babu’s” meal would be incomplete without these ingredients, bhaat (boiled white rice), machher jhol (stewed fish) and a bhaja (fried vegetables like, brinjal, bitter gourd, etc). However, Bengali cuisine offers a whole range of vegan delicacies as well. Posto (poppy seeds or khus khus) is an integral part of Bengali cuisine. The use of posto in Bengali cuisine dates back to almost two centuries. Posto finds its place in Bengali literature as well. Bankim Chnadra Chattopadhyaya’s Kamalanter Daptar (From the Desk of Kamalakanta) is one such example. Written on the lines of De Quincy’s “Confessions of an English Opium Eater”, Bankim’s protagonist remains inebriated most of the time as an aftereffect of consuming too much opium (drug obtained from poppy seeds). During the struggle of independence, Opium dens were known to exist in Kolkata’s China Town.
|Ground and ready, Kancha posto!!|
The sole purpose of penning this note is nothing but nostalgia buffs. Few days back, the quintessential Bengali in me was craving for some kaancha posto (raw poppy seed paste). I remember way back in the 90s when I was all of 10, my granny would pretty often make kaancha posto. She would grind them mixed with water and some salt; then add some chopped onions, green chilies and a zing of strong mustard oil. As a kid, my share of the yummy kaancha posto would be devoid of the green chilies. However, as I grew up green chilies made their way to my plate and thus began my never-ending love affair with this sumptuous yet simple, vegan Bengali dish. Pretty often I have eaten all my rice with kaancha posto! Not a very healthy habit I agree, but, a treat now and then will not harm…