Five Ways to Use Mustard Oil

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Of the many options available among cooking oils, Mustard Oil is probably the most versatile oil you can find. There’s so much you can do with it… without compromising on your health. In today’s post, we look at five ways to use Mustard Oil in your everyday life.

  • #1: Cook Healthy Food

Natural cold-pressed Mustard Oil is a very healthy oil for cooking. It offers enormous health benefits – cardiac, vascular, gastrointestinal and digestive – in addition to lending food a characteristic flavour and aroma. Mustard Oil has one of the most healthy fatty acid profiles and is least absorbed in your food while cooking.

  • #2: Delicious Gravy

In many culinary styles like Kashmiri, Bengali and Punjabi food, Mustard Oil is used to make rich, tasty (yet healthy) gravies that create great dining experiences.

  • #3: Preservative for Pickles

India would not have had such a mind-boggling array of diverse pickles had it not been for the natural preservative properties that Mustard Oil has. Moreover, the antimicrobial, antibacterial and antifungal attributes of Mustard Oil ensure that the pickles remain free from any moulds or pathogens that could make the pickles unfit for human consumption.

  • #4: Natural Skincare

The high levels of natural Vitamin E in Mustard Oil made it ideal for keeping skin healthy, soft, moisturized and supple. Moreover, the antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties of this oil go a long way in preventing skin infections and disorders.

  • #5: Natural Hair Care

For thousands of years, ancient Ayurvedic formulations and home remedies have made use of Mustard Oil as an excellent tonic for keeping hair strong, lustrous and healthy. The heating properties of the oil enable it to penetrate deep into the scalp and strengthen the hair strands right from the roots. Also, by naturally moisturizing the scalp, the use of Mustard Oil prevents dandruff.

So there you have it – five excellent ways to use Mustard Oil in your everyday life. The next time you go shopping for Mustard Oil, make sure it is pure, cold-pressed oil… and buy a larger pack too!

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Cast a Spell with Potatoes

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This is a dish that looks like a complex preparation but is actually deceptively simple. Use it to impress your friends and family by demonstrating your exotic culinary skills. It combines potatoes with a delectable gravy created with yoghurt and mustard oil. Your guests will definitely ask for second helpings!

The ingredients that you will require are:

  • Potatoes: 6, medium-sized
  • Yoghurt (Dahi): 200 gram
  • Green Chillies: 6
  • Mustard Oil: 250 millilitres
  • Mustard Seeds (Black): 1 teaspoon
  • Mustard Paste (Kasundi): 4 tablespoon
  • Turmeric (Haldi) Powder: 1 teaspoon
  • Sugar: 1 teaspoon
  • Salt: to taste

The Mustard Paste mentioned in the ingredients is a condiment called Kasundi which is typically found in Bengal and other parts of eastern India. It is quite commonly available these days – but if you can’t find it in your local stores, you can make it yourself. Take a tablespoon of black mustard seeds and a tablespoon of white mustard seeds and grind them to a paste. Add two green chillies and a little salt and grind once again. Add a little Mustard Oil to create the consistency that you prefer. And there – your fresh homemade Kasundi is ready.

Preparation:

Peel and wash the potatoes. Boil them to make them soft – but not too soft. Cut them into round slices. Smear each slice with a little turmeric, and keep aside.

Slice the green chillies.

Method:

Heat around 100 millilitres of Mustard Oil in a frying pan and add the potato slices one by one. Deep fry the slices till they turn golden brown. Remove the potato slices from the pan and drain the excess oil by placing the slices on a paper towel or napkin.

In a bowl, mix the yoghurt, mustard paste, sugar and salt.

Heat the remaining Mustard Oil in a pan on Medium heat. Add the black mustard seeds and sauté till the seeds begin to splutter. Add the contents of the bowl in which you mixed the yoghurt, mustard paste, sugar and salt. Add the sliced green chillies and mix thoroughly.

Reduce the heat to Low and add the fried potato slices. Stir well to mix all the contents.

Your delicious dish of Potatoes in a Yoghurt and Mustard Oil gravy is now ready to be served. In the eastern parts of India, this would usually be eaten with steaming hot rice – but it can also be enjoyed with Roti or Naan.

Beyond Cooking and Eating…

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When you ask people to randomly name the cooking oils that they are aware of, the responses are predictable: soybean refined oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, groundnut oil, rice bran oil… and mustard oil. Little do they realize that mustard oil stands apart from all the other options – because it is a lot more than just a cooking oil.

Mustard Oil doesn’t just cook your food, it enhances your health in innumerable ways, protecting you from various diseases and boosting your body’s immune system. Not very many cooking oils can do that for you.

The most dramatic health benefits offered by Mustard Oil stem from the unique chemistry of this oil. In its natural cold-pressed form, Mustard Oil contains life-enhancing antioxidants that help in preventing disorders like atherosclerosis, arthritis, skin problems, dementia and various neurological conditions.

Mustard Oil also contains Vitamin E in the form of alpha tocopherol – an excellent natural antioxidant that protects cells, regulates immune function and ensures endothelial cell integrity.

The pungent principle in Mustard Oil comes from Glucosinolate which has antibacterial, antifungal and antimicrobial properties. It also contains allylisothiocyanate (AITC) that has cancer-fighting properties – which is why medical science is now using mustard to treat and prevent colon and colorectal cancer.

The right way to look at Mustard Oil is to go beyond healthy cooking and eating and see it for what it really is: an extremely versatile health tonic!

A Famous Delicacy from Punjab

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A visit to the holy city of Amritsar is not just a pilgrimage – it can also be an exciting culinary adventure. The Dhaabas (local eateries) of Amritsar are legendary for their delectable fare. Today’s post focuses on the recipe for one of the city’s most famous dishes: Dal Amritsari.

Here are the ingredients that you will require:

  • Black Gram (Urad Dal): 200 grams
  • Split Chickpeas (Channa Dal): 50 grams
  • Onions: 30 grams
  • Tomatoes: 60 grams
  • Garlic: 20 grams
  • Ginger: 20 grams
  • Mustard Oil: 2 tablespoon
  • White Butter: 100 grams
  • Green Chillies: 5
  • Mint (Pudina): 1 teaspoon
  • Salt: to taste

Preparation:

Wash and clean the lentils (Black Gram and Split Chickpeas) thoroughly and soak in water for at least 30 minutes

Peel, wash and finely chop the ginger.

Peel and chop the garlic.

Peel and finely chop the onions.

Remove the stems of the green chillies; slit and deseed them; chop finely.

Wash and chop the tomatoes into small pieces.

Method:

Drain the lentils and place them in a Handi. Add salt and around 2 litres of water. Turn the flame up to High heat and bring the contents of the Handi to a boil. Reduce the heat to Low. You might notice some scum-like substance floating on the surface; skim it off.

Add around two-thirds of the ginger and the garlic, cover the Handi and let the mixture simmer till the lentils are done. Around two-thirds of the liquid should also have evaporated at this stage. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to mash the lentils by pressing them against the sides of the Handi.

In a Kadhai heat the Mustard Oil on Medium heat. Add the onions and sauté till they turn light brown. Add the remaining ginger and garlic, and continue to sauté until the onions turn a slightly darker shade of brown. Now add the green chillies and tomatoes and stir fry till the tomatoes are done.

Pour the contents of the Handi into the Kadhai and stir the mixture thoroughly. Continue cooking till the Dal thickens to the desired consistency.

Your Dal Amritsari is now ready to be served. Garnish with mint leaves and add swirls of white butter on top. This dish is usually eaten with Roti… but can also be eaten with steaming hot rice.

A Checklist for your Cooking Oil

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The cooking oil that you use has a lasting impact on your health and wellness, especially on your heart, blood pressure, lipid profile and vascular system. To enable you to zero in on the right choice of cooking oil, we have developed a simple Checklist for you.

  • Check if the cooking oil is 100 percent natural

A healthy oil should not contain any chemicals, additives or artificial substances. Only cold-pressed oils pass this test. Refined oils fail comprehensively because they are filled with chemicals.

  • Check if the oil has health benefits

Your cooking oil should not merely serve to cook your food; it must also offer well-defined health benefits, especially since you will be using it on a regular basis. For instance, Mustard Oil has several scientifically proven health benefits; it is proven to be good for your heart, your blood pressure, your digestive system and blood vessels.

  • Check if the attributes of the oil are good for health

For example, the attributes of Mustard Oil offer rock-solid health benefits; the oil is proven to have antibacterial, antifungal, antimicrobial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It also has a unique attribute: Pungency. This pungency stems from a nutrient called AllylIsothiocyanate or AITC which is known to have cancer fighting properties.

Use this Checklist to evaluate the cooking oil that you are using – and decide for yourself. Choose wisely. Your health – and your family’s health – could depend on it.

A Famous Mutton Dish from Bengal

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Bengal is known for some amazingly delicious curries, one of the most famous ones being Mutton Curry – or Kosha Mangsho as the Bengalis call it. Many contemporary chefs have tried to “modernize” this recipe – but in this post we are presenting the authentic Bengali preparation, just the way the grandmas of Bengal originally cooked it… for hundreds of years… using cold-pressed Mustard Oil as an important ingredient.

Here are the ingredients that you will need:

  • Mutton (Leg or Shoulder Piece): 1 Kilogram
  • Potatoes, medium sized: 6
  • Onions: 4
  • Mustard Oil: 200 millilitres
  • Garlic (Lasan) Paste: 2 tablespoon
  • Ginger (Adrak) Paste: 1 tablespoon
  • Yogurt (Dahi): 250 gram
  • Turmeric (Haldi) Powder: 1 tablespoon
  • Red Chilli Powder: 1 tablespoon
  • Cinnamon (Dalchini): One 2-inch stick
  • Bay Leaves (Tej Patta): 2
  • Cardamom (Ilaichi): 3
  • Cloves (Laung): 3
  • Ghee: 1 teaspoon
  • Salt: to taste

Preparation:

Cut the mutton into medium-sized pieces. Prepare a marinade using 100 millilitres of Mustard Oil along with the ginger paste, garlic paste, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, yogurt and salt. Coat the mutton pieces with this mixture and leave it to marinate overnight. In the old days, an earthen pot containing the meat would be sealed and stored overnight – but these days one can leave it in the refrigerator overnight.

Finely slice the onions.

Peel and cut the potatoes into halves.

Method:

Heat the remaining Mustard Oil in a pan and add the onion slices along with the whole spices. Fry till the onions take on a deep golden-brown colour.

Add the marinated mutton pieces and stir the contents thoroughly to mix the spices and onions with the meat. Cover and cook till all the moisture is absorbed. Occasionally uncover the pan and stir the contents.

Next, add the potato pieces along with 700 millilitres of water. Cook till the potatoes are done and all the water is absorbed.

Transfer the contents to a serving dish and sprinkle a teaspoon of Ghee over the top of the dish. Your Bengali style Kosha Mangsho is now ready to be served. It is usually eaten with steaming hot rice.

 

The Crusade against Cholesterol

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With heart disease, hypertension and stroke emerging as major health problems across the world, people are increasingly focussing on one word: Cholesterol. High-cholesterol foods and diets are being shunned and many people are resorting to medication to control their blood cholesterol levels.

Many people don’t know that one of the best natural cholesterol-fighters is sitting quietly in their kitchens. It’s Mustard Oil – that humble, low-profile, old-world cooking medium whose enormous health benefits tend to go unrecognized ever so often. Mustard Oil is scientifically proven to mount a two pronged attack on cholesterol. The regular use of mustard oil for cooking boosts good cholesterol (HDL) and at the same time, it prevents the rise of bad cholesterol (LDL). In the process, mustard oil restores the body’s Triglyceride balance and builds a healthy lipid profile.

This vital role played by Mustard Oil in fighting cholesterol has been recognized by the American Heart Association and the Harvard School of Public Health on the basis of various scientific studies. The National Cholesterol Education Programme (NCEP) also credits Mustard and Mustard Oil with being a powerful weapon in the battle against cholesterol.

The NCEP was designed to tackle the menace of cardiovascular disease being faced all across the United States of America. One of the key recommendations of this Programme is to use cooking oils that have low levels of Saturated Fats, high levels of Monounsaturated Fats, and a healthy ratio of Omega-6 and Omega-3. Natural cold-pressed Mustard Oil meets – and actually exceeds – the NCEP parameters.

The champion fighter against Cholesterol has been around for thousands of years. Add Mustard Oil to your arsenal – and win the battle against Cholesterol… decisively.