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Feb 14, 2011 07:01 AM

Poppy Seeds - regular vs. white for Curry Powder recipe

I want to make a curry seed recipe which includes 11 ingredients.
The 12th ingredient, white poppy seeds is approximately 1/5 amount of the whole amount.

I've understood that white poppy seeds are used (instead of blue) for the thickening when using it as a curry sauce. I understand that white poppy seeds will not flavor the powder as blue poppy seeds will.

My concern is whether or not to make a special order or trip to find these white poppy seeds. Is it necessary for use.
Any suggestions appreciated. Thanks.

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  1. I don't have a native's background knowledge of potential substitutes, but nothing I can think of is a really good subsitute for white poppy seeds. The dishes I'm familiar with that call for them are pretty distinctive because their presence for flavor as well as their thickening properties. I haven't eaten blue poppy except in sweets, but it's seems to me its a very different taste, so I wouldn't recommend them as substitutes.

    If you don't want to make a special trip right now, I'd have to be a wet blanket and suggest waiting on this recipe until can pick them up when it's more convenient. (They don't have a (very) long shelf life but keeping them in the fridge or freezer helps a lot.)

    1. White poppy seeds are a very mild flavor. I would think that you could just skip them.
      Is this "curry powder" for a specific recipe? If it is then you need to use another thickener for the dish. Untoasted almond or cashew can be used to thicken you sauce and gives a very similar texture as the white poppy seeds do..

      1. What kind of recipe do you have for this 'curry powder'? I am curious because white poppy seeds are toasted and ground and added as a thickener, and to give their toasted scent and flavor in specific types of North Indian recipes. I am surprised that someone wrote a recipe saying to add it to a mix of spices or 'curry powder.' It goes rancid easily like nuts, so you would have to grind it and then use up your spice mix quickly if it is supposed to be added to some spice mix. I keep mine separately stored and place it in the freezer, ground in very small quantities.

        I agree with chefj that you can sub soaked, ground skinless almonds as a paste to thicken and achieve the same effect as that of white poppy seeds. Their distinct perfume would be lost in your dish, though. It is up to you.

        3 Replies
        1. re: luckyfatima

          Thanks for all of your replies. I just bought some "Simply Organic" curry powder, which I haven't tried, but I've previously bought other ready-made "curry powders."
          I looked at the numerous cookbooks for a homemade recipe for curry powder, and as most of them added numerous curry leaves, they were unacceptable. However, this recipe says "be selective about its use." I assume a warning that every curry will taste the same; however, that is the case if a bought ready-made curry powder is used everytime, as well.

          The recipe that contaned white poppy seeds, contained: coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, black peppercorns, fennel seeds, black mustard seeds, white poppy seeds, green cardamom pods, seeds from black cardamom pods, turmeric, gorund ginger, ground nutmeg.

          I would probably make the full amount and freeze some, but the suggestion to combine all the ingredients, freeze, then grind as needed is a good suggestion.

          1. re: Rella

            Please Can I have this recipe of curry powder ?

            1. re: Adamsekkat

              Are you asking for the "Simply Organic" organic organic Curry powder Organic recipe?
              Organic coriander, organic turmeric, organic mustard, organic cumin, organic fenugreek, organic paprika, organic cayenne, organic cardamom, organic nutmeg, organic cinnamon and organic cloves.