Easy and joyful cooking

Monday, June 12, 2006

Poppy seeds

Yesterday i went through indira's mahanandi and i came to know about mythili's event 'mistress of spices'. I know i was late but can't restrain myself to showcase my favourite spice-'Poppy seeds'. It is a must spice in southindian cooking and i still remember i used to eat them while my mother was preparing paste in her very own mortar and pestle to use in non-veg dishes. An anonymous count claims 900,000 that’s how many poppy seeds are said to be in one pound. Interesting... isn't it. Below is a breif description about this nutty flavoured spice.

Poppy seeds (regular gray and Indian white types)(courtesy: spice pages)

Origin: Poppy seeds(popularly known as khus-khus in india) are tiny nutty-tasting, blue-gray seeds inside capsules on Papaver somniferum, a yellowish-brown opium plant. You may wonder what poppyseeds came from opium plant? Yes, indeed the drug opium is produced from the unripe seed pods and poppy seeds are from ripen seed pods. A perfect example that good and bad lies very close to each other.

They are native to Mediterranean regions, India, China, Turkey, and Iran. Today, Holland and Canada are the main producers of poppy seeds.

opium plant (courtesy: wikipedia)

Kitchen Uses: Poppy Seeds are used to flavor breads, cakes, rolls, and cookies in European and Middle Eastern cooking. They are often ground and used in desserts. In India, the seeds are ground and used to thicken sauces. They also add nutty flavor and texture to pastry crusts, pancake and waffle batters.

Medical Use: Grandma's tip for initial stomach viral-diarrhea is to take 2-3 tbsp of poppy seeds. Poppy seeds is rich in unsaturated fatty acids which is essential for nutrition. It is also used in ayurvedic medicine as a natural sleep aid.

Other Use:Poppy seeds are also the source of a drying-oil, used for manufacture of paints, varnishes, and soaps, and in foods and salad dressing.

Poppy Seeds(Khus-Khus) Biscuits

After the above writeup i wanted to prepare something having and highlighting poppy seeds in it. Making is simple and adding poppy seeds gives the nutty flavour,perfect with cup of tea.


1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup poppy seeds
2-3 tbsp milk


In a bowl mix all the dry ingredients then add vanilla,milk and butter. I prefer to mix everything with hand because hands are best tools. Make into a ball. Take a gallon size ziploc, place the ball in it,close the ziploc leaving a little gap at the corner to let the air pass through it. Roll the dough ball evenly (about 1/4th inch thick) using the rolling pin and put in the freezer for 20-30 minutes,so that the butter gets hardened and is easy to cut. Take out the ziploc cut the sides of the cover and open the top carefully. Then with cookie cutter( i did it with glass having sharp edges) cut into desired shapes and transfer on to a nongreased cookie sheet. Do with the remaining scrapes in the same manner. Preheat oven to 375F and bake for 12-15 minutes and checking inbetween until the biscuits turn golden in color. Even a minute of extra baking these biscuits will result in 'oops! what happend??' because the khus-khus will turn black. Crunchy,nutty and buttery biscuits are ready.

(poppy seeds biscuits)


Anonymous Mythili said...

Awesome. What a charming choice !!!! Wondeful !! I will include "poppy seeds" right away.

Thanks for participating in MoS and welcome to the blogging world.

11:54 PM

Blogger Puspha said...

Welcome to the foodblogosphere. All the best to u.

9:06 AM

Blogger sudha said...

Thankyou very much mythili and pushpa..I went through your blogs and you both got an amazing talent. As my blog name suggests iam still a newbie and looking forward to learn more.

10:31 AM

Anonymous Guitar Master said...

I wish I could blog as good as you, but what I can do is give you a nice Guitar Lesson!

4:05 PM


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