Seed Mysteries [Split from S.F. thread]
>white rice dotted with little black seeds that weren't onion seeds.
oh, maybe "kala jeera"?
did they look like this:
i personally think "nigella bites". not a big fan.
BTW, this might be sort of an ignorant question, but
how come poppy seeds "here" are black, but the bengali
item "posto", which i believe are poppy seeds, are off-white?
is it a different kind of plant or one is treated somehow ...
husked, bleached, cooked etc?
No idea about the seeds, but in Indian cooking white poppy seeds are used somewhat like ground nuts, i.e. as a thickener and enricher. They don't taste anything like black poppy seeds which are slightly nutty. The white seeds are relatively bland, like an untoasted cashew.
I dunno about non-bengali indian cooking, but in Bengal
posto [the poppy seed item] are used in quite a few ways.
From gluing them together into a little fried item about the
size of a silver dollars [postor bora], which you would
eat as a side with say dal ... these are pretty much 100%
You can also make a batter out of them and use it to coat
other fried vegeable, typically eggplant.
Then there are some curries that use some poppy seed, and
finally there are some preparations that heavily use poppy
seeds [alu posto with potato, jinga posto [ridge gourd] etc.]
Not sure if those uses are comparable to ground nuts.
Anyway, I was basing this on: poppy seeds in a bagel -> black.
The bengali "posto" -> white.
I thought you were asking about white poppy seeds in general, my apologies. According to a quick internet search, white poppy seeds come from a variant of papaver somniferum var. glabrum which is bred to produce pale seeds. The flower is a pale milky color. Black, actually blue, poppy seeds come from papaver somniferum, the most popular color of which is red. The blue/black seeds are supposed to be sweeter and nuttier. There's no difference in the way the seeds are processed as far as I can tell.
I bought white poppy seeds by accident from an Indian grocery store, thinking I could use them in place of blue. The taste is distinctly different so I looked up how to use them and all I found were recipes which used them as a thickening agent.