An oil is… well, just an oil – but not when it comes to Mustard Oil. Mustard Oil is a lot more than a cooking oil, extremely versatile and varied in its applications. That’s why chefs are usually extremely enthusiastic when they talk about Mustard Oil.
Chef Arun Sundararaj, Executive Chef at the Taj Mahal Hotel, New Delhi, believes that while mustard may be an acquired taste, it is definitely a unique flavour. “I believe that there is no ingredient that comes close to it”, he affirms adding “it brings tremendous flavours to any dish.” The gourmet specialities at the TajMahal Hotel include Bhatti Murgh and Mustard Prawns, both of which need cold-pressed mustard oil to make their flavours come alive.
Chef Sonu Koithara points out that certain traditional dishes like Bengali and Punjabi recipes cannot be prepared, in their authentic form, without Mustard Oil. “Bengali dishes like Shorshe Bata Ilish and Chingri Bhapa cannot do without the generous use of mustard oil”, he points out emphatically.
Chef Abbas Bhat, an expert in Kashmiri Wazwan cuisine agrees wholeheartedly. He believes that one cannot possibly cook authentic Wazwan food without using mustard oil. According to him, mustard oil is the essence of this culinary style and is used not just as a cooking oil but also as a tadka (gravy) and a marinade.
As you can see, all across the culinary profession, Mustard Oil has some serious fan following!