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Cooking articles

Recipes Pop with Poppy Seeds

Learn how to use poppy seeds in your cooking, and get some great recipes using poppy seeds to try!

Flavor, color, and texture — poppy seeds deliver it all! A versatile addition to both sweet and savory dishes, the slate-blue seed has been enjoyed since ancient times for its mildly nutty taste and aroma. Today, you'll find it in ethnic recipes (such as Indian curries and kormas and Jewish pastries served during Purim), on baked goods, with fruits and vegetables, in dressings, with pastas and grains, and in casseroles. It's put to work as a whole seed as well as ground, and it's also used to produce an oil.

The edible seeds come from Papaver somniferum, the opium poppy. The tiny seeds (there are between one and two million per pound!) appear round, but if you look closely you'll see that they're actually kidney shaped.

Suggestions for incorporating poppy seeds into your cooking:

  • Sprinkle on breads, crackers, pretzels, bagels, biscuits, and rolls.
  • Soak in warm milk before adding to pastry recipes. (Soaking will soften the coating and release more flavor.)
  • Fold into noodle dishes.
  • Sprinkle on salads, or include in salad dressings.
  • To make a paste (for use in rolls or croissants, for example), combine ground poppy seeds with butter or milk and sugar.
  • Add to vegetables (such as Brussels sprouts or cauliflower) while sautéing.
  • Add to stir fries and grain dishes.
  • Fold into any cake, cookie, pancake, or waffle batters.
  • For maximum shelf life, refrigerate or freeze poppy seeds, especially in warm weather.

Here are some recipes for using poppy seeds in a variety of dishes, from breads to dressings to a scrumptious chicken dish.

Spicy Flatbread Appetizer contains poppy seeds as well as sesame seeds, thyme, oregano, and garlic powder. Easy to make and so flavorful.

Poppy Seed Waffles partner beautifully with fresh fruit and pure maple syrup.

Lemon and poppy seeds are often found in tandem, as in this Lemon Caraway Bread, which takes advantage of both poppy and caraway seeds.

Poppyseed Dressings are especially lovely on fruit salads or fresh greens, especially spinach. This Creamy Poppy Seed Dressing is dairy free. And this Fruit Salad with Honey-Poppy Seed Dressing encorporates crystallized ginger for added flavor..

Indians consume about 40,000 tons of poppy seeds a year, much of it in curries and kormas like this White Chicken Korma.

Take a look at other recipes that benefit from the addition of poppy seeds. Then stock up, because you'll soon be sprinkling them breakfast, lunch, and dinner!

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