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Substitute For Poppy Seeds

Substitute For Poppy Seeds

A comprehensive list of top 13 best substitute for poppy seeds especially selected depending on the type of dish you wish to replace them in. 

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The use of poppy seeds in Indian cooking is very common. If one was to look at traditional Indian food, you will notice that there are many dishes that use poppy seeds as one of key flavour component, especially in the state of West Bengal.

However, it may be tricky to buy poppy seeds for some, others may not like the texture or taste of poppy seeds. The best thing to do then is to replace poppy seeds with other substitute ingredients.

Below is a list of 5 best substitute for poppy seeds that can be used in different types of dishes you are looking to replace poppy seeds with.

What Are Poppy Seeds ?

You may be familiar with the tiny black seeds used as a topping on breads, inside cakes or even in few salad dressing giving a slight nutty flavour and a crunchy texture.

Being the nutritious seeds of opium poppy plant, poppy seeds also come with a reputation of being a sleep inducing drug, triggering the question of is poppy seeds good for you?

Treated poppy seeds used for cooking purposes is absolutely safe to eat have many health benefits as well.

However, do take caution when eating poppy seeds.

Types of Poppy Seeds

There are different types of poppy seeds used in cooking.

White poppy seeds are in fact one of the widely used spice in South Asian and Indian cuisine.

Blue or black poppy seeds are used as salad dressings and bakes in many parts of the world.

Fortunately there are many poppy seed substitute.

Substitute for Poppy Seeds

Poppy seeds is a type of spice that is used to add thickness to Indian sauces, as a dish by itself like a poppy seeds fritters, topping for breads, in cakes and also as dressing.

It is not considered the main spice or ingredient as long as the dish does not center around the spice like this potatoes in poppy seeds paste (alu posto) recipe.

There are some of the best alternative to poppy seeds depending on what it is used in:

Poppy seeds substitute when used as a topping

In case it is used as a topping you can substitute poppy seeds with:

  • chia seeds,
  • black or nigella seeds,
  • roasted sesame seeds,
  • sunflower seeds or
  • any finely chopped nut of your choice.

Poppy seeds substitute when used in bakes

If there are poppy seeds listed for making baked goods such as cakes, biscuits or cookies you can use any of the following as an alternative to poppy seeds:

  • sesame seeds
  • flax seeds
  • chia seeds
  • hemp seeds

Poppy seeds substitute when used as a thicker

When used as a thickening agent in savoury dishes replace poppy seeds with

  • cream,
  • sunflower seed paste,
  • cashew nut or
  • almond paste

What Foods Go Best With Poppy Seeds

Being a mild neutral tasting spice, poppy seeds are versatile and goes well with most food items.

Best food pairing: green beans, gourds, cauliflower, peas, potatoes, ginger,chicken, lamb, meat, eggs, seafood, dairy products, rice, curries

Best spice pairing: asafoetida, cardamom, nigella seeds,sesame seeds, ground ginger, cloves, cumin seeds, dry chilies, mustard seeds

Where To Buy Poppy Seeds

Depending on the type of poppy seeds you wish to buy, you may have to choose the appropriate store.

Blue or black poppy seeds are available from most supermarkets.

You will have to visit an Indian or ethnic grocery store to get white poppy seeds.

Wherever you choose to buy them make sure it is from a trusted source.

Buy poppy seeds online
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Info-graphic On Poppy Seeds Substitute

Infographic on substitute for poppy seeds

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