Poppy seed is very hard to grind. If you do not have a special poppy seed grinder, first lightly roast the seeds and use a pestle and mortar. They can be used either whole or crushed in cooking and bakery. When using them with uncooked food, such as salads, roast them lightly first, as this strengthens their flavour and aroma. When poppy seeds are used for pastries, they are covered with boiling water and allowed to stand for one to three hours before grinding.