Saturday, June 11, 2011

Chicken/Mutton with Poppy Seed Paste

It has begun raining heavily in Bombay and I wasted the last few days debating/mulling over what I should call this dish.My mum and I were watching a cooking programme on a Bengali channel, the food was Awadhi cuisine; mutton/chicken pasanda, korma, rezala were some of the dishes which featured on the show. It obviously evoked our interest and mum decided to adapt one of the dishes.
Since it is an adaptation I have had a tough time giving it a name. One thing that I noticed was almost all the dishes had more or less the same ingredients, so giving it a name makes it that much more difficult;  anyway what is in a name? Wasn’t it Shakespeare who said that a rose with any other name would smell as sweet, so here is the recipe. My mum used chicken in the following recipe, however you can replace it with mutton.


  • 1kg chicken
  • ½ cup yoghurt
  • 2 big onions
  • One tablespoon ginger paste
  • One teaspoon garlic paste
  • 2 teaspoons poppy seed paste
  •  One teaspoon coriander and cumin seed mix powder
  • A little turmeric powder
  • A little Kashmiri red chilli powder
  • One green cardamom, 3 cloves and a small piece of cinnamon.
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg powder.
  • 3 tablespoons cooking oil of your choice.
  • Salt to taste.


  • Cut and clean the chicken. You may cut it into pieces of your choice, however medium size pieces would be preferable.
  • Beat the yoghurt and add it to the chicken. Mix well and keep it aside for some time.
  • While the chicken is marinating, grind the onions to a paste.
  • Now add the onion paste, poppy seed paste, ginger paste, garlic paste, turmeric powder, chilli powder, coriander and cumin mix powder to the chicken which was marinating in the yoghurt. Mix well.If you want a white gravy then drop the red chilli powder and use chopped green chillies instead.
  • Heat three tablespoons oil in a vessel of your choice.
  • Add the chicken mixture and stir well.
  • Cover and cook on low flame. Stir intermittently.
  •  When it releases water add salt to taste.Mix well.
  • Cover and cook till done.
  • Dry grind the whole garam masala that is the green cardamom, cinnamon and cloves. Just before removing from flame add this powder along with the nutmeg powder. Mix well and serve hot.
  • It goes very well with a rumali roti or naan.
  • If you are using mutton instead of chicken then add raw papaya paste to the mutton, it will help to tenderize the mutton.
  • This was a simple adaptation but according to what we saw on the channel you can make it richer by adding cashew paste, saffron and mace powder.
  • Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.


  1. Looks delish ......I never tried with poppy seeds ..

  2. Hi, thanks for dropping a comment on my blog. You have some of the most authentic and mouth-watering Bengali recipes. Would love to visit here again. Nice meeting you as a Bengali too, we have our rich culture in common! Following you gladly!!

  3. Another thing in common: you seem to live in Mumbai. I am also from Mumbai, although now I live in Hong Kong.

  4. and that show is brilliant/ love the way they try to portray authentic cuisines every week. your version looks delish too didi.

  5. Absolutely delicious chicken curry.

  6. My mouth is watering just imagining this recipe... sounds delicious! Though I'd think adding cashewnut paste might make it just a little too rich.

  7. @Dustedoff: Yes you are right Madhu about the cashew nut paste. This way it is delicious and light.

  8. My Mom never misses these evening cookery shows...Many a times she calls me to inform if she has found something interesting . You last post of papaya ghonto was superb. Came here late :-( Never mind following u now..this chicken preparation looks delicious

    Hamaree Rasoi

  9. Shilpi, I'll vouch for the cashew nut paste, it does make it delicious, but heavy, of course. I'm going to make your version today evening, you had my taste buds all fired up. Perfect for rainy days. :)

  10. @Banno:Thanks, just let me know how it turns out.

  11. I liked your blog very much. Chicken with poppy seeds is an interesting recipe. Looks delicious and yummy.
    You are welcome at my blog.

  12. Your recipes are very authentic n so is their presentation!
    US Masala

  13. Thanks a lot for your lovely comment. We take chutney with all dishes.

  14. its an amazing Bengali mom used to cook this.....and posto bora...uff....its mouth watering

  15. Thank you Shilpi for signing up:)
    Posto diye murgi or posto chicken is what my mom used to say.this is one of my fav much of a fuss free one!but tastes delicious with ruti:)thanx for sharing:)

  16. I cant cook to save my life... this looks delicious.. wow!!