There’s one topic of conversation that Boman Irani engages in with the same enthusiasm and fervour that he has for discussing movies – and that’s Food! For his childhood friends, Boman was always the go-to person for advice on where to eat and what to eat while visiting Mumbai. He is also known to be a confirmed foodie and has appeared as a guest on many popular food shows on television.
Recently, he tweeted about his food preferences – both his likes and dislikes… and he did it in that inimitable way that only Boman can do.
Boman’s Tweet includes a video link to a short conversation that was casually recorded while shooting a series of in-camera messages for P Mark Mustard Oil (a brand for which Boman Irani has been the brand ambassador for many years now). In the course of this chat, Boman talks about how a Parsi boy from South Bombay ended up in the world of films – which eventually led him to travel to north India… particularly Delhi and Punjab where he discovered a fascinating all-new flavour: Mustard Oil.
In addition to the story of Boman’s culinary journeys, the film also contains some humorous jibes at the kind of food that Boman Irani does not like. Do watch!
A couple of weeks ago, The Mustard Specialist shared a potato recipe from the Kumaoni region. This time around, we continue following the potato as we travel further eastward – to Bengal.
This dish demonstrates a vital aspect of the Bengali culinary arts – their ability to use Mustard Oil in many, many creative ways!
Here are the ingredients that you will require:
- Potato: 3 large
- Mustard Oil: 2 tablespoon
- Fresh Coriander Leaves (Dhania): 2 tablespoon, chopped
- Onion: 1, chopped
- Fennel Seeds (Kalonji): 1 teaspoon
- Dry Red Chillies: 3 to 4
- Turmeric (Haldi) Powder: half a teaspoon
- Salt: to taste
- Pepper: to taste
Boil the potatoes with their jackets (skin) on till they become slightly soft. Now peel them and dice them into small cubes.
Heat a little of the Mustard Oil in a pan on low heat and add the Fennel Seeds; after a while, the seeds will begin to splutter; at this point add the Dry Red Chillies and fry them lightly.
Add the rest of the Mustard Oil to the pan and pour in the diced potatoes and turmeric powder. Stir thoroughly so that all the ingredients mix well and the turmeric powder coats the potato cubes turning them rich yellow in colour.
Continue cooking on a medium flame till the potato pieces begin to turn a shade of rich golden brown. At this stage, add a little water (half a cup should be enough) and continue cooking and stirring. After a minute or so, cover the pan with a lid and continue cooking till the potatoes become soft (that is, they are no longer crunchy). This should take around 7 minutes.
Remove the lid and add the chopped onions and chopped coriander leaves. Stir thoroughly to mix all the ingredients and continue cooking till the water evaporates.
Add salt and pepper to taste and it is done! Your Bengali-style Potato dish is ready to be served. Even though this is traditionally a dry dish, it is usually eaten with rice or is relished as a side dish alongside a daal or a vegetarian or non-vegetarian gravy dish.
Enjoy this deliciously enthralling Jugalbandi between Potato and Mustard Oil!
Some of the commonest misconceptions arise from the erroneous application of straight line thinking. One such misconception is that just because Mustard Oil has a rich dark colour, using it for massage and skincare will end up darkening one’s skin. Wrong! In fact, the effect is quite the opposite – mustard oil actually de-tans the skin, lightening the skin and reducing dark spots.
For thousands of years, Mustard Oil has been an integral part of skincare in India because it is known to have a revitalizing effect. It tones; it moisturises naturally; it prevents dry, flaky skin; it improves blood circulation; it cleanses the pores of the skin; its heating action opens the pores of the skin and enables the body to flush toxins out through the sweat glands more effectively; and it clears up any pigmentation and other marks that you may have on your skin.
The high levels of Vitamin E in Mustard Oil also make it a highly effective natural sunscreen. Before going out on a sunny day, all one has to do is apply a thin layer of mustard oil on the face, neck, arms, hands and other parts that are exposed. This will protect your skin from the ultraviolet rays of the sun.
In today’s harsh urban living conditions, Mustard Oil also protects your skin from being attacked by free radicals that are active in atmospheric pollution. The air quality warning being flashed across television channels these days are ominous and alarming – ranging from ‘Poor” to “Severe”. Mustard Oil is rich in natural antioxidants that prevent cellular damage to your skin – and are even known to regenerate damaged skin cells.
There’s just one problem with using Mustard Oil as a moisturiser, sunscreen lotion and anti-pollution shield – many of today’s younger generation do not like the smell of Mustard Oil. No problem! All you have to do is to mix it with any essential oil of your choice; the smell will be masked but all the fantastic benefits will remain intact.
So go for Mustard Oil – and glow with it!
In this short film, Boman Irani jokingly talks about something that many of us do when we go shopping. We are drawn towards “imported” stuff very easily… fascinated by tags like ‘Made in USA’, ‘Made in Germany’, etc. Boman points out that in doing so we sometimes miss out on the things that are innately Indian and are actually better than what the world can offer.
For instance, when it comes to choosing a healthy cooking oil, India has quite a few healthy choices – like Mustard Oil. There is really no need to go running after international brands that are pretty looking and are attractively packaged… but aren’t really healthy from the point of view of nutrition, heart health and suitability for tropical climates. On the other hand, an option like Mustard Oil has been around for thousands of years, has been used by generations of consumers, and is widely acknowledged for its health benefits – even by members of the medical and scientific fraternities.
That’s why Boman makes a good point when he asks us to trust and believe in India’s Oil – Mustard Oil.
Ancient India had its very own health and healing system known as Ayurveda. It made extensive use of Mustard Oil because of the natural curative properties of this oil. The ancient Vaids (physicians) knew all about the antibacterial, antifungal, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties of mustard oil – thousands of years ago, and used it in their formulations.
Here is an ancient Ayurvedic hair and scalp treatment. Mix two parts of Mustard Oil and one part of coconut oil in a bowl. Warm it slightly – especially if you are doing this during the cold winter months. Now massage the mixture into your hair making sure it reaches all the way down to the scalp.
After around 10 minutes of this soothing massage, place a warm moist towel over your head, folding the towel into a loose turban. Leave the towel on for around 15 minutes. The mustard oil-coconut oil combination will enrich your hair making it lustrous and strong. At the same time, the heating action of the Mustard Oil and the warmth of the towel will open up the pores of your scalp and enable the Mustard Oil to penetrate deep into the scalp, nourishing the hair follicles.
Amazing hair care… in just a few minutes!
Mustard oil has always been an integral part of healthy eating and cooking in the hilly regions of India… like Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Kashmir. That’s why P Mark Mustard Oil has been a part of the culinary traditions of these regions for more than eighty years.
Today, we explore a delightful potato dish from the Kumaoni region. The potato grows abundantly in the Himalayan foothills and the local populace have some great recipes using potatoes in really creative ways.
Here are the ingredients that you will require:
• Potato: 3 large
• Mustard Oil: 3 tablespoon
• Fresh Coriander Leaves (Dhania): 2 tablespoon, chopped
• Coriander (Dhania) Powder: half a teaspoon
• Cumin Seeds (Jeera): half a teaspoon
• Red Chilli Powder: 1 teaspoon
• Dry Red Chillies: 2 to 3
• Turmeric (Haldi) Powder: half a teaspoon
• Asafoetida (Heeng): half a teaspoon
• Salt: to taste
Boil the potatoes till they become slightly soft. Now peel them and cut them into slices.
Heat a little of the Mustard Oil in a pan on low heat and add the Cumin Seeds; when they start to splutter, add the Dry Red Chillies and Asafoetida and sauté till they are lightly fried.
Heat the rest of the Mustard Oil in another pan and add the sautéed and fried Cumin Seeds, Dry Red Chillies and Asafoetida along with Turmeric Powder, Coriander Powder, Red Chilli Powder and salt. Now add two tablespoons of water and mix thoroughly. Next add the sliced potatoes and mix well so that the spices coat each slice of potato.
Now place a lid on the pan, turn on the flame (set on low) and cook for around 10 minutes. Remove the lid and stir well. Use a fork to ensure that the potato slices have cooked well. Replace the lid and cook for another minute or so. Remove the lid and check. Once the potatoes turn soft and golden brown in colour, turn the flame up to high and stir vigorously to ensure that the contents don’t get burnt. After a minute (or less) turn the flame off.
Garnish your dish with fresh Coriander Leaves and serve hot. This potato preparation is usually eaten with Roti or Puri.
Enjoy the rich, traditional flavour of the hills!
There is a raging debate on whether or not sunscreen causes cancer. Naturally, the companies who manufacture sunscreen creams are vociferously claiming that it does not. On the other side are experts who point out that certain chemicals like OMC, Titanium dioxide and Oxybenzone found in sunscreen lotions are indeed carcinogenic and can increase the risk of skin cancer.
Statistics pertaining to the rise of skin cancer also seem to support the views of the experts. In the pre-War 1930s, studies showed the risk of developing invasive melanoma was 1 in 500; in the US (where people regularly use sunscreen lotions), the risk has currently increased dramatically to 1 in 55. True, there are various underlying factors like the thinning of the ozone layer and the American preference for outdoor lifestyles – but one important development is the popularity of sunscreen creams and lotions in present times. It would, therefore, be logical to look upon sunscreen lotions as a contributory factor.
In fact, one of the leading authorities on skin cancer, Dr Leonard Coldwell, strongly asserts that the chemicals in sunscreen cause most skin cancers – not exposure to the sun, as many people tend to think.
In India, we don’t have to worry. Mother Nature in her generosity has given us a 100 percent natural sunscreen with zero risk of cancer: Mustard Oil. If you are going out in the tropical sun, just apply a thin layer of mustard oil on your face, hands and other exposed parts. The high levels of Vitamin E will protect you from the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun while the natural antioxidants will protect the skin from cellular damage caused by free radicals in the air (because of the high levels of air pollution in India).
So, don’t fear the sun… after all, you have one of the best natural sunscreens – right there, on your kitchen shelf!