Spice Descriptions and Uses


Poppy Seeds Blue - papaver somniferum



This spice is the seed of the opium poppy. The tiny kidney-shaped, slate blue seeds add a tantalizing flavour to some baked goods and to other cooked dishes. The seeds do not contain any narcotic property.



Crunchy texture and nut-like flavour that lingers and is enhanced in combination with some other spices and foods.


How to Use:

Sprinkle over the top of food, use as a garnish or as a spice with cottage cheese, cream cheese, scrambled eggs, cheese, pie crust, fruit compotes, fruit salad, cookies, cakes, breads, pastries, green salads, salad dressing, curries, sauces for meat and fish, vegetables and noodles. Melt butter, sprinkle some poppy seeds into the butter and brush onto rolls, then warm the rolls in a moderate oven for a few minutes. Mix poppy seeds with honey and use as a filling for pancakes.



Muffins 2 teaspoons for a mix to make 12 muffins or corn bread

Pie pastry 2 teaspoons in a 2 crust mix

Noodles 1 teaspoon in 1/2 cup butter tossed with a half pound of noodles

Cream cheese 2 teaspoons in an 8 oz. package

Salad dressing 1 teaspoon in a cup of creamy dressing

White cake 1/3 cup in a 2 layer mix

Cookies 3 tablespoons in a 3 cup recipe


Other info:

Poppy seeds are crushed and used as a thickening agent in Indian cooking. Dry frying in a medium hot skillet releases their flavour for salads and dressings. Poppy seeds lose their flavour as they age. They become bitter. Buy regularly rather than keeping a large quantity on hand.

Poppy Seed Filling

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 cup milk or water

3/4 cup poppy seeds

1/3 cup raisins, chopped

2 tablespoons clear honey

grated zest of one lemon

In a saucepan, combine sugar and milk (or water) and bring to a simmer. Stir while cooking for 5 more minutes. Add the poppy seeds, raisins, honey and lemon zest. Bring back to a simmer and cook while stirring 3 more minutes. Mixture should be thick. Use as a filling for cakes, tarts and pastries. For example, filling can be spread thickly over a pie crust and then rolled and cooked until pie crust is a golden brown. Slice into spirals and serve.