(Last Updated on : 13/12/2017)
Poppy Seeds are quite commonly used as a culinary ingredient
in India, helping create deliciously robust and creamy curries. They are used, whole or ground, as an ingredient in several dishes
. They also are pressed to obtain poppy seed oil
. Poppy seeds of culinary use have none of the alkaloids that comprise the narcotic.
Etymology of Poppy Seeds
Poppy seeds are oilseeds obtained from poppy plant. The botanical name of the plant is Papaver somniferum
. It belongs to the Papaveraceae
family. While the poppy plant is also known to be the source of opium
, the seeds that are extracted from the pods are completely harmless. It is known as Khus Khus in Hindi
, Gasagasalu in Telugu
, Kasa Kasa in Tamil
, Kas Kasin Malayalam
, Gasegase in Kannada
, Posto in Bengali
and Khush Khush in Punjabi
. The poppy seeds are consumed extensively in West Bengal
, Andhra Pradesh
and Tamil Nadu
Types of Poppy Seeds
There are different varieties of poppy seeds. Some of the popular types are:
Blue poppy seeds - Also called European poppy seeds as they are mostly seen on Western breads and in confectionery.
White poppy seeds - Also called Indian or Asian poppy seeds, they are featured in the respective cuisines.
Oriental poppy seeds - Also called opium poppy, this one yields opium and is grown for commercial purposes.
Usage of Poppy Seeds in Medicine
Poppy seed is widely used for culinary purposes. The seeds contain a plethora of nutrients and essential minerals that the body requires for the regulation of various processes. The most important benefit of poppy seeds is the prevention of heart disease
. The iron and phosphorus in the seeds maintain bone health and muscles. Its seeds are demulcent and are used against constipation
. The capsules are used as a sedative against irritant cough
ing and sleeplessness
in the form of syrup or extract. Poppy seeds have anti-inflammatory compounds that may help reduce itchiness.
Usage of Poppy Seeds in Indian Cuisine
In India, the poppy seeds have found their way into many cuisines. In West Bengal, the white poppy seeds is much loved and used in plenty of preparations like Aloo Posto
, Posto Bora or eaten only as a paste, with chopped onions
, chillies, mustard
oil and rice
. Poppy seeds make a good thickening agent and are often being added in curries. A Goan curry
is made with poppy seeds. In Maharashtra
, it is used in making Pudachi Wadi. A simple paratha
made with poppy seed stuffing can be delicious with pickle on the side.