Black poppy seeds (known as “Dutch Blue” seeds) are nutty and sweet, and have a stronger flavour than white poppy seeds. Blue seeds are most commonly used in North America and Europe, usually in breads, bagels, cakes and other baking. White seeds are more common in India where they are roasted and ground, and then used to flavour and thicken curries.
If you need to grind poppy seeds of either colour, dry roasting them in a pan for a few minutes first will make grinding much easier. Soaking the seeds in hot water for a couple of hours before adding to cooking will help them to thicken a dish.
Poppy seeds have a high oil content so they will go bad if they are kept too long. You should buy small amounts that you will be able to use within a couple of months. We recommend storing poppy seeds in the refrigerator to help keep them fresh.