Homemade Street Food

The Coronavirus pandemic and the lockdowns it caused made street food vanish from our lives. Stepping out of our homes for a quick snack seems like a distant dream now. Well, if you are one of those many people absolutely yearning for Indian street food, here is a do-it-yourself solution to satisfy your taste-buds.

Let’s make some delicious Aloo Tikki that tastes just as good as the stuff you used to get from the vendors’ carts… but this homemade version is a lot healthier because we are going to use cold-pressed Mustard Oil instead of the cheap, unhealthy oil typically used by roadside vendors. 

Here are the ingredients that you will need.

Ingredients:

  • Potatoes, medium sized: 2
  • Mustard Oil: for frying
  • Gram Flour (Besan): 2 tablespoon
  • Onion, medium sized: 1
  • Coriander Leaves (Dhania): 1 small bunch
  • Green Chillies: 2
  • Red Chilli Powder: Half a teaspoon
  • Cumin (Jeera) Powder: 1 teaspoon
  • Asafoetida (Heeng): One large pinch
  • Salt: to taste

This recipe produces six or seven regular sized Aloo Tikki.

Preparation:

Peel, wash and coarsely grate the potatoes. Drain off any excess moisture that remains after grating.

Peel and wash the onion and finely chop it.

Wash the coriander leaves and chop them coarsely.

Chop the green chillies.

Method:

Put the grated potatoes in a mixing bowl and add the gram flour, chopped onion, chopped coriander leaves, chopped green chillies, red chilli powder, cumin powder and asafoetida. Add salt to taste and mix well.

Use the palms of your hands to shape the mixture into round Tikkis (cutlets) that are around half an inch thick.

Heat Mustard Oil in a frying pan till it reaches its smoking point. Carefully shallow-fry each Tikki, turning it over with a wooden spatula till both sides turn golden brown in colour. Your Aloo Tikki is now ready to be served. Have it hot with ketchup, Pudina (Mint) chutney or any other condiment of your choice. Relive those street food delights in the safety of your home.

For more such recipes, please visit https://www.purioilmills.com/recipes-in-english

Nutritionists Say Mustard Oil is “The Perfect Oil”

Good nutrition isn’t only about what you eat – it also stems from the nutrients contained in the food you are consuming as part of your daily diet. A significant part of your daily fat intake should come from healthy fats – good fats like Monounsaturated Fatty Acids, Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and Omega-3 Fatty Acids. This last one is a vital nutrient that must be obtained via the food we eat – the body cannot manufacture or synthesize Omega-3 fats.

Mustard Oil is one of the richest vegetable sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids. This nutrient is known to prevent heart disease and hypertension, and also lower bad cholesterol (LDL), boost good cholesterol (HDL) and rectify the body’s triglyceride balance.

Speaking at a webinar organized by the Hindustan Times media group, well-known Nutritionist Kavita Devgan pointed out another very important attribute of Mustard Oil: the ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 fatty acids. Most of the food we eat does not offer a suitable ratio of these two nutrients. The imbalance can be corrected by maintaining a proper intake of Mustard Oil which has an ideal Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio… a near perfect ratio. It is for this reason that many nutritionists and cardiologists call Mustard Oil a “perfect oil”.

So you don’t have to go hunting in the hidden corners of the world of Nutrition to find this elusive nutrient called Omega-3. Just reach for a bottle of cold-pressed Mustard Oil. It’s packed with Omega-3… and a wide array of health benefits!

Club Sandwich – In A Jiffy!

Being stuck at home because of the restrictions imposed by the Coronavirus situation presents various culinary challenges. What could you cook today? How can you make it interesting? And can it be done quickly? After all, no one wants to spend long hours in the kitchen throughout the day.

Well, here’s a quick snack-cum-meal that you can whip up in no time – an Indian version of the famous Club Sandwich. The reason we’re calling it an “Indian version” is that we are going to rejig the traditional Colonial recipe to create something new and exciting. 

The ingredients are everyday items normally found in any refrigerator at any time. Here’s what you will need…

Ingredients:

  • Bread: 12 slices
  • Eggs: 4
  • Mustard Oil: 2 tablespoon
  • Mayonnaise: 12 tablespoon
  • Cheese slices: 8
  • Onion, medium sized: 1
  • Tomatoes, medium sized: 2
  • Garlic: 6 cloves
  • Black Pepper Powder: Half a teaspoon
  • Salt: to taste

This recipe is for making four club sandwiches. If you want more (or less) sandwiches, please adjust the quantities proportionately. While you can use your everyday variety of bread for these sandwiches, it’s better to use special sandwich bread that comes in larger slices.

Preparation:

Peel, wash and finely chop the onion.

Peel and wash the garlic cloves and chop them into small pieces

Wash the tomatoes and slice them. You will need at least 16 slices.

Method:

In a frying pan, heat the Mustard Oil till it reaches its smoking point.

Break and beat the eggs in a bowl. Add the black pepper powder along with salt to taste. Also add the chopped onions and chopped garlic. Mix well. Pour this mixture into the frying pan and make an omelette. However, don’t fold the omelette like you would normally do. Instead let it be one flat omelette in the circular shape of the frying pan. When your omelette is done, turn the flame off; keep the frying pan aside.

Next, toast the bread slices. Set your toaster to Medium; don’t let the slices become too crisp or brittle.

Clean your kitchen counter, and lay out the slices of toasted bread. Apply a tablespoon of mayonnaise to eight of the slices (one side only), spreading it evenly across each slice. On each of these eight mayonnaise-coated slices place a slice of cheese.

Carefully cut the omelette into neat rectangular strips and place these omelette strips on the eight slices of toasted bread. On top of these omelette strips arrange two slices of tomato, on every slice of bread.

Now we are all set to arrange the double-decker club sandwiches. Take the eight slices that are loaded with mayonnaise, cheese, omelette and tomato. Stack them one on top of the other with the loaded side facing upwards. Finally, take the remaining four slices of toasted bread, spread a tablespoon of mayonnaise on each and place them (mayonnaise-coated side downward) on top of the stacks you had made earlier. Your double-decker club sandwiches are now ready. 

Use a serrated knife or a pizza cutter to cut each sandwich diagonally into two triangular sets. Stick a toothpick into each triangular sandwich to hold the layers in place.

Arrange the sandwiches on a plate and serve with potato chips or French fries.

And remember, once you have the basic recipe in place, you can experiment with numerous variations to suit your taste-buds. Use lettuce if you like greens in your sandwich; or use a variety of bread spreads instead of mayonnaise to play around with the taste. And if you like it spicy, add a dash of chilli sauce while making the layers; or throw in some mustard sauce for a different kind of kick. And since we are making an “Indian version” you could even add your favourite pickle. There’s so much you can do, you’ll never ever get bored! Have a great meal!

For more such recipes, please visit https://www.purioilmills.com/recipes-in-english

Your Fitness Tonic

For fitness enthusiasts and health-conscious folks, the Coronavirus pandemic has created a very difficult situation. Gyms had to be shut down – and even as and when they eventually open, the risks associated with a visit to the gym will continue to be worrisome. Under the circumstances, many people are forced to workout at home and maintain their fitness regimens to the best of their ability.

Speaking at a webinar organized by the Hindustan Times media group, well-known fitness expert Vesna Jacob had some very useful advice for those working out at home. She pointed out that cold-pressed Mustard Oil – commonly found in many Indian kitchens – is a very useful and versatile substance for fitness enthusiasts. For starters, the Selenium content in this oil has strong anti-inflammatory, anti-swelling, muscle-relaxing and pain-relieving properties. Moreover, Mustard Oil is a “hot” oil – and this heating attribute opens up the pores of the skin and enables the oil to work at deeper subcutaneous levels.

So if you are working out at home, it’s always useful to have Mustard Oil close at hand for relieving aches, pains and sprains… but there’s more. This oil is known to tone and strengthen muscles and tendons; it improves joint function; and it increases muscle mass and enhances performance by helping protein synthesis in muscle cells. Moreover, a pre-workout rubdown with Mustard Oil improves blood circulation, eases muscular tension and detoxifies the body. Cold-pressed Mustard Oil – it’s an essential fitness tonic for your workouts.

Fried Rice – The Quick Version

There’s a lot of cooking happening at home these days with the entire family locked down within the walls of their residence… all because of the Coronavirus situation. Invariably, this leads to a lot of leftover food – especially rice. So today, we are going to turn this rice into something exciting: Garlic Fried Rice… not the Szechuan variety but the good old Indian street food variety (it contains no Ajinomoto, or MSG, which is known to be unhealthy).

Suppose you have about 250 grams of rice left over, you are all set to make this quick fried rice with a homemade touch.

Here are the ingredients that you need to gather…

Ingredients:

  • Cooked rice: 250 gram
  • Mustard Oil: 2 tablespoon
  • Onion, finely chopped: 50 gram
  • Garlic: 1
  • Black Pepper Powder: a pinch or two
  • Soya Sauce: 1 tablespoon
  • Butter: around 25 gram
  • Salt: to taste

Preparation:

The preparation for this simple dish hardly takes any time at all. Peel the garlic and separate the cloves and wash them. Cut four garlic cloves into small pieces. The remaining garlic should be finely chopped. It would be quicker to use ready made garlic paste – but the real joy of this dish is the rich aroma of fresh garlic, and you won’t get the same experience with packaged garlic paste.

Peel, wash and cut an onion (or part of an onion) and chop it to produce around 50 grams of finely chopped onion.

Method:

In case you have taken the rice out of the fridge, let it gradually reach room temperature. Add a teaspoon of Mustard Oil and mix thoroughly. Keep aside.

In a frying pan, heat the remaining Mustard Oil on Low heat. Add the cut garlic pieces and fry till the pieces become crisp. Remove the garlic from the Mustard Oil and keep aside.

In another (larger) pan, heat the butter on a Medium flame. Add the finely chopped garlic and fry for a minute or so. Don’t let the butter reach its smoking point (which is around 150oC); if it begins to smoke, reduce the flame to Low. Next add the black pepper powder and continue frying on a Low flame.

Next, pour the Mustard Oil from the frying pan into this pan. Add the rice along with the soya sauce and half the chopped onion. Add salt to taste and mix thoroughly. Turn the flame up to High heat and fry while constantly stirring to ensure that the rice at the bottom of the pan doesn’t get burnt.

Once the fried rice has taken on the consistency that you want, turn the flame off.

Transfer the contents to a serving bowl. Use the remaining chopped onion and the fried garlic pieces to garnish the dish. Serve hot. So there you are – the leftover rice is gone and in its place you have a delicious homemade Garlic Fried Rice with all the delights of street food… but cooked in the safety of your home.

For more such recipes, please visit https://www.purioilmills.com/recipes-in-english

A New Role for Mustard Oil

The well-known cardiologist and Padma Shri recipient, Dr K. K. Aggarwal made an interesting observation when he appeared on Spotlight, a series of popular webinars organized by the Hindustan Times media group. The discussion was taking place at a time when the deadly Coronavirus was rampaging through the country (the situation continues to worsen with each passing day) – and Dr Aggarwal pointed out that the disease was essentially an inflammatory condition. It caused inflammation of the nasal cavity, the trachea and the lungs. And here’s the interesting part – India has a powerful, completely natural anti-inflammatory substance that has been around for more than 5000 years: Mustard Oil!  

In its cold-pressed form, Mustard Oil has potent anti-inflammatory properties that have for years been used in the ancient Indian healing science of Ayurveda for pain relief and the prevention of inflammation in various parts of the body. Mustard Oil is very useful in easing muscular and joint pains (which are, in essence, caused by inflammation), including arthritic pain. It works both externally as well as internally. That’s why in addition to usage in massage it is also a very healthy oil for cooking in.

A regular intake of Mustard Oil can – among other things – prevent inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract, colon and other parts of the body.  

This is the benefit that Dr Aggarwal was highlighting – one should fight an inflammatory condition with an anti-inflammatory oil like Mustard Oil.

Speaking of COVID-19, here’s another interesting point: we are dealing with a virus… and cold-pressed Mustard Oil is known to have strong antiviral properties. So that’s two great reasons for using Mustard Oil.

By the way, a few months ago there was a bit of controversy because someone claimed that Mustard Oil can “cure” COVID-19. That’s wrong – and as several experts pointed out, there’s no research-based evidence to support that claim. What we are emphasizing in this article is the power of Mustard Oil to prevent the virus from attacking you because this oil has proven anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties.

The Cleansing Power of Mustard Oil

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The entire world is going through an unprecedented crisis at this moment – the Corona Virus Pandemic. Right now, there’s no vaccine, no medicine and no medical process for preventing or curing the disease. That’s why quarantines and lockdowns have emerged as the only tools for fighting this scourge.

In addition to wearing a mask while going outside your home (only when it becomes absolutely necessary to do so), doctors are recommending the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers and the need to keep washing your hands every half-an-hour – scrubbing and rinsing for at least 20 seconds.

There is – sadly – a shortage of hand sanitizers in the market so here’s a simple homemade solution. Take a bowl and sterilize it using boiling water. Dry it with a clean towel or washcloth. Add two-thirds of a cup of 99.9% isopropyl alcohol – commonly known as “rubbing alcohol”. You can find this at your local pharmacy. Next, add one-third of a cup of aloe vera gel – available at most cosmetics shops. Aloe vera is a natural moisturizer and will prevent the skin on your hands from becoming dry and flaky because of the alcohol.

Finally, add one teaspoon of cold-pressed Mustard Oil. This will increase the protective power of your homemade hand sanitizer because Mustard Oil has powerful antiviral, antibacterial, antimicrobial and antifungal properties.

Stir well and pour the contents into a dispenser that has previously been sterilized; you can also use an empty hand-wash bottle.

Shake the dispenser before using it. Also, do not make large quantities at a time – this homemade product does not have a very long shelf life. Prepare it in small batches depending on your daily needs.

This is a public service message brought to you by The Mustard Specialist. Stay home, stay safe!

Understanding Mustard Oil

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Today, consumers are pretty much surrounded by positive views and opinions on Mustard Oil. Doctors, nutritionists and dieticians are talking about its health benefits. Chefs are talking about its unique flavour and pungency. And medical research has regularly been unearthing some truly amazing powers that this oil has.

This positive buzz has caught the attention of many consumers who had either moved away from mustard oil or had never tried it. They were drawn back to mustard oil but, understandably, had two key questions. In this post, we seek to address those questions.

Why is Mustard Oil darker and heavier than the refined oil I used earlier?

The lighter look-and-feel of refined oils is created artificially using chemical processes. The lighter texture is because the gums and resins have been removed and the lighter look stems from the oil being bleached to remove its natural colour. On the other hand Mustard Oil is cold-pressed and 100 per cent natural. Its darker and heavier colour and texture are part of its natural characteristics.

Why is Mustard Oil pungent?

Pungency is the defining characteristic of pure Mustard Oil. The pungent principle in this oil is activated by an enzyme called myronsinase and a glucosinolate called sinigrin. When mustard seeds are crushed at low temperature, these combine to produce allyl isothiocyanate or AITC. AITC gives Mustard Oil its typical pungency. It also gives the oil very powerful cancer-fighting properties.

So for those of you still sitting on the fence, go ahead and take the plunge. Embrace Mustard Oil and enjoy its flavour, aroma, heart-friendliness and numerous other health benefits.

Winter’s Oil

winter-oil

This blog has regularly highlighted the external uses of Mustard Oil during the cold winter months. Being rich in Vitamin E and natural antioxidants, the oil is ideal for skincare and body massage. The natural heating properties of the oil also help in creating an effective delivery system – the pores of the skin open up, allowing the nutrients to penetrate and work at subcutaneous levels. Thus, Mustard Oil isn’t just an epidermal application, it even works at deeper levels – soothing muscles and promoting cellular health.

However, while many people are aware of these traditional uses of Mustard Oil in skincare, massage and even hair care, they don’t know that the oil is also an ideal edible oil for winter.

Winter is a time when the weather makes the body’s metabolism turn sluggish. It is also a time for a host of illnesses – cough, cold, congestion, etc. Mustard Oil improves the functioning of the metabolic system and builds up the immune system. Its heating action is particularly suitable for fighting (and easing) coughs, colds and congestion. In fact, for centuries Indians have used Mustard Oil as a natural inhaler for clearing the respiratory tract and preventing respiratory discomfiture and diseases.

Most important of all, Mustard Oil is known to have powerful antiviral, antibacterial, antimicrobial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties. All these attributes remain completely intact even after cooking. As a result, Mustard Oil is able to work effectively inside your body, toning the digestive system, preventing diseases and ailments of the digestive tract, keeping your heart healthy, and balancing your triglyceride levels by enhancing good cholesterol (HDL) and reducing bad cholesterol (LDL).

So if you aren’t already doing so… switch to Mustard Oil this winter… and stick with this choice all the year round – because Mustard Oil is an edible oil for all seasons.

Which Type of Mustard Oil is Good for your Skin?

As winter sets in and the weather turns cold and dry, it has a rather unpleasant effect on one’s skin. The skin loses moisture and becomes flaky and itchy; and it looks scaly and lacklustre. Taking a bath provides a temporary sense of respite – but soon the skin turns dry again.

This sends many people scurrying for moisturising creams. Not really a good idea – because most of the moisturizers available on the market contain various harmful chemicals. These include BHA (Butylated Hydroxyanisole) which has carcinogenic risks; Parabens which are known to increase the risk of breast cancer; and petroleum-based ingredients like mineral oils and paraffin.

Instead of taking unnecessary risks, it’s better to fall back on one of Grandma’s tried and tested home remedies: Mustard Oil. There was a time when young generation consumers would respond to such a suggestion with an emphatic “Eww” or “Yuck”, but not anymore. Today’s young consumers are highly aware of ancient home remedies, and many of them are already using Mustard Oil as a natural moisturizer.

There are many attributes that make Mustard Oil an ideal moisturizer for your skin. First, it is rich in natural Vitamin E – which keeps your skin soft, supple and hydrated. It also prevents wrinkles and other signs of ageing. Secondly, Mustard Oil has a natural heating property – this opens the pores of the skin and allows the oil to penetrate deep inside, thereby ensuring more effective hydration. This heating property of Mustard Oil is the reason why many people use the oil for a pre-bath rubdown during the cold winter months.

Many people who have heard about these skincare benefits wonder: Which Mustard Oil should I use? Should I use the one in my kitchen? The answer is Yes. Just check the label to make sure that it is Cold-Pressed Mustard Oil (also known as Kachchi Ghani Mustard Oil). That’s the one to use. However, if the label says Refined Mustard Oil or Double Filtered Mustard Oil, we would not advise you to use that for skincare. Cold-Pressed Mustard Oil is 100 percent natural and has all the attributes we mentioned earlier.

So listen to the wisdom of your grandmother – use Mustard Oil to take care of your skin during the cold, harsh and dry winter months.