Poppy seed (kush-kush)

Poppy seed is an oilseed obtained from the opium poppy (Papaver somniferum). The tiny kidney-shaped seeds have been harvested from dried seed pods by various civilizations for thousands of years. The seeds are used, whole or ground, as an ingredient in many foods, and they are pressed to yield poppy seed oil.
Papaver somniferum is also the opium poppy, native to the Middle East and now grown in China, Indo-China, India and Afghanistan.

Culinary use:
Poppy seeds have primarily culinary uses, as intact seeds and as a paste of ground seeds. The seeds are used as a spice, a condiment, a decorative garnish, a thickener, and a main ingredient. They are used in many baked goods, main course dishes, and desserts.
The seeds of the opium poppy (Papaver somniferum) are widely consumed in many parts of Central and Eastern Europe. The sugared, milled mature seeds are eaten with pasta, or they are boiled with milk and used as filling or topping on various kinds of sweet pastry.
In India, Iran and Turkey poppy seeds are known as khaskhas or hashas and are considered highly nutritious, mostly added in dough while baking bread, and recommended for pregnant women and new mothers.

Medicinal uses :
Poppy seeds have long been used as a folk remedy to aid sleeping, promote fertility and wealth, and even to provide supposed magical powers of invisibility.
The poppy seed harvest can be a by-product of opium poppy cultivation for opium, poppy straw, or both opium and poppy straw. Conversely, poppy straw can be a by-product of cultivation of poppy seed.

Flavour :
Mild until heated, then it becomes nutty, with sweet-spicy under-tones.

Other names :
Mawseed.
Opium Poppy.

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