This dish has a special place in the list of Bengalis’ hot favourite winter delicacy. Back home, Posto (poppy seeds) and Shorshe (mustard seeds) were always hit, and they still are. Maa used to cook Sheem Posto and Jhinge Posto specially during winter, while Alu Posto was an all season hit. I used to observe the entire procedure very minutely and once I asked Maa “Dish er naam Sheem Posto, kintu tumi shorshe keno meshao?” (the dish is called “Flat Beans in Poppy Paste”, then why are you adding mustard seed paste?), Maa replied “Jekono postor dish e ektu shorshe bata ar shorshe dish e ektu posrto bata debe, tate shaad aro bere jay” (Always add a little bit of mustard paste in every poppy paste based dish and visa-versa, this will enhance the taste). From the day I started cooking till date I have been following this instruction – be it veg or non-veg, I follow this religiously.
Sheem or Flat Bean is one of my favourite winter vegetables. I like almost all preparation of sheem, and when I don’t have enough time, I just stir-fry it and eat – I even like that so much. Today I bought fresh flat beans that were literally tempting me – first I thought of cooking them with fish, but all of a sudden changed my mind. I realized that it’s not the flat beans, but the taste of Maa’r haather posto diye sheem that is making me tempted. So, wasting no more time I started my preparation and by lunch time my sizzling hot Sheem Posto was ready 🙂 Here’s the recipe:
- 40 flat beans (approx 500 gms)
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 4 table-spoon poppy seeds
- 2 table-spoon mustard seeds
- 6 green chillies (3 roughly cut and 3 slitted from middle)
- 1/2 tea-spoon fenugreek seeds
- 2 dried red chilles
- 1 and 1/2 tea-spoon turmeric powder (1 + 1/2)
- salt (according to taste)
- 1 cup warm water
- 4 table-spoon mustard oil
- Mix poppy seeds, mustard seeds and roughly cut green chillies together and make a fine paste. Keep aside.
- Cut both the heads of flat beans and remove the threads. Rub them with 1 tea-spoon turmeric powder and salt.
- Heat 1 table-spoon oil in a pan and add the flat beans. Mix well, lower the flame, cover the lid and cook until the flat beans become soft. Remove from the pan and keep aside.
- Heat the remaining oil and add fenugreek seeds and dried red chilles. Stir and allow them to splutter.
- Now, add slitted green chillies, tomato, 1/2 tea-spoon turmeric powder and salt. Stir until the tomato gets mushy.
- Add the poppy-mustard paste and warm water. Mix well and cover the lid. Lower the flame and cook until the oil starts separating the mixture.
- Now, add the flat beans and mix well. Cover the lid and cook for 7-10 minutes on medium to low flame or until the beans are well cooked.
- The gravy should be completely thick, so, if there remains, open the lid and cook by stirring frequently until the water gets evaporated. Be careful, the gravy should not get burned.
- Once you have the desired consistency, your Sheem Posto is ready to be served.
Serve this dish with hot steamed rice. If you wish you can add a raw green chilli while eating, it will will an extra kick to the dish.
Do try this mouth-watering Bengali vegetarian dish and drop me a comment telling how you like it. Happy eating!