These are the tiny, edible blue-grey or ivory-coloured seeds of the poppy flower. The former are more common in European cookery; and the latter in Indian cuisine. Although the poppy is the source of opium, its seeds lose their narcotic characteristics as they ripen.
White poppy seeds are not widely available, but you will find them in Indian grocers.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator to prevent them from becoming rancid.
Because they’re so small and have a tendency to stick together, poppy seeds are often dry-roasted, or soaked and ground before use to make them easier to handle. In Central and Eastern Europe, they are sprinkled onto cakes, breads, biscuits and bagels, and added to potato, egg, pasta, cream and cheese dishes. In India, they are used as a spice or as a thickener in curries.
Article by Sejal Sukhadwala