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Home Glossary Condiments Kuskus - Khaskhash - poppy seeds (culinary)

Kuskus - Khaskhash - poppy seeds (culinary)

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Khuskhus. Culignary seeds of the plant Opium Poppy which is one of the oldest cultivated plants. They are used in Indian recipes.  However the seeds do not have any of the narcotic properties of the opium drug or its derivatives. (In GCC countries they are contraband) - Poppy seeds impart a nutty sweet, spicy flavor to the dish. In Indian cooking paste of white poppy seeds is used to flavor and thicken curries and sauces.

In India, Iran and Turkey poppy seeds are known as Khaskhas or Hashas (pronounced: "Hashhash" or in Persian: "Khash Khaash") and is considered a highly nutritious food item, mostly added in dough while baking bread,and is recommended for pregnant women and new mothers. In Maharashtra, India, Khaskhas is used to garnish Anarsa, a special sweet prepared during the festival of Diwali.

In Bengal (West Bengal and Bangladesh) white poppy seeds are called Posto. They are very popular and are used as the main ingredient in a variety of dishes. One of the most popular dishes is aloo posto (potato and poppy seeds) which consists of a large amount of ground poppy seeds cooked together with potatoes and made into a smooth, rich product, which is sometimes eaten with rice. There are many variants to this basic dish, replacing or complementing the potatoes with such ingredients as onions (pnyaj posto), ridge gourd (jhinge posto), chicken (murgi posto), and possibly the most popular prawns (chingri posto). The cooked poppy seeds are sometimes served without any accompanying ingredients at all. The consistency of the dish may vary depending on local or household traditions. There are many other posto dishes. One dish involves grilling patties made from posto, sometimes frying them (posto-r bora). Another dish involves simply mixing uncooked ground poppy seeds(kancha posto) with mustard oil, chopped green chili peppers, fresh onions and rice.

In Indian cuisine, poppy seeds are used in many main dishes. Chachchari is a dish from Bengali cuisine and includes long strips of vegetables, sometimes with the stalks of leafy greens added, all lightly seasoned with spices like mustard or poppy seeds and flavored with a phoron. Oriya cuisine and Bengali cuisine includes posto, a poppy seed paste cooked with assorted vegetables and/or potatoes. In the cuisine of Karnataka, saaru is a gravy prepared with onions, coconut, tamarind, cilantro, and a combination of various spices (garlic, ginger, clove, cinnamon, poppy seeds, star anise, fennel, chillies and coriander). Andhra cuisine also uses white poppy seeds, called Gasaalu (?????) in Telugu, in various recipes.

The seeds themselves do not contain significant amounts of opiates. But a poppy tea consumed in some areas and often referred to as doda has been controversial for containing ground opium poppy plant, especially the seed head, and contains significant levels of opiates.[30] Popular in some South Asian communities, doda is created by grinding dried poppy husks or poppy seeds into a fine powder and then ingesting the mix with hot water or tea. In Canada, doda is made from poppy plants brought in from Afghanistan and Arizona under the guise of legal purposes such as floral arrangements, but is sold illegally from some meat markets.[31]

In American cuisine, a thick, sweet poppy seed vinaigrette is used for dressing fresh fruit or salad.

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