A Chutney from Bengal

The Bengalis create some truly unique culinary delights using Mustard Oil – and that includes a dazzling array of curries, pickles and chutneys.

In this post we are going to look at one such unique creation – a delicious chutney that uses banana peels! Yes, that’s right! One normally relishes the banana and throws the peel away. Well, don’t – if you want to make this delightful chutney!

This age-old recipe uses the peels of raw bananas. Take the peels and grind them along with garlic and peppercorns. Next, it’s time to add the secret ingredient – Mustard Oil! The trick is to use cold-pressed Mustard Oil, known as Kachchi Ghani Mustard Oil in North India. You won’t get the same flavour if you use refined or filtered mustard oil, so be careful.

Take the mixture of raw banana peels, garlic and peppercorns and garnish it generously with Mustard Oil – and add a dash of lemon. And your chutney is ready.

But there’s a twist in this tale. What you have created isn’t just a mouth-watering chutney. It is also a great home remedy with medicinal properties that aid digestion and soothe upset tummies.

Go ahead – add a tangy flavour of Bengal to your meals!

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Colds and Coughs… Vanquished!

The onset of the festive season also means a slight nip in the air; gentle signs that winter’s on its way. However, this change of season can also bring some undesirable elements: coughs, colds, sniffles and fever.

Here’s a relaxing and invigorating way to keep such problems far, far away. Try a Mustard Foot Bath.

Take a bowl that is large enough for you to dip both your feet into. Crush a handful of mustard seeds into pulp and mix it with around 100 ml of Mustard Oil. Alternatively, you could also mix two tablespoons of dried mustard powder in Mustard Oil. Now add hot water… not too hot; just hot enough for you to comfortably dip your feet into it.

Now sit comfortably. Place both your feet in the bowl and relax. Read a magazine or watch some television. Keep your feet in the Mustard Foot Bath till the water becomes lukewarm.

Now towel your feet dry and enjoy the warm, soothing sensation of total relaxation, especially after a hard day’s work.

You could also heighten the efficacy of your Mustard Foot Bath by giving your feet a vigorous Mustard Oil rub once you are done with the foot bath.

Goodbye Colds and Coughs!

Let’s Celebrate!

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The festive season is on – and it is time to bring on those special menus that give you a chance to indulge your taste buds… even if it means not sticking to your diet for a dew days!

For today’s celebration, we have picked a traditional delicacy from Kashmir: Gushtaba, a part of Kashmir’s famed Wazwan cuisine. P Mark Mustard Oil is proud to be included in this rich culinary tradition, having been an integral part of Kashmiri cooking for decades – since 1933.

Here’s what you will need for this recipe:

• Mutton: 800 grams, boneless and minced

• Mutton fat: 200 grams

• Fennel Powder: 2 tablespoons

• Coriander Powder: 1 teaspoon

• Dry Fenugreek leaves: powdered to 1 tablespoon

• Cumin powder: 1 tablespoon

• Cumin: 1 teaspoon

• Black Cardamom: 2, crushed

• Green Cardamom: 2, crushed

• Black Cardamom seeds: 2 tablespoons

• Cinnamon: 2 large pieces

• Bay leaves: 2

• Cloves: 5, crushed

• Onions: 3, medium sized chopped

• Egg: 1

• Yoghurt: 300 grams

• Mustard Oil: 150 ml

• Ghee: 1 tablespoon

• Salt: 1 tablespoon

• Coriander or Mint: for garnishing

Alright, so now that you have all your ingredients let’s get started!

First, place the mutton mince in a mixing bowl and add the black cardamom seeds, half a tablespoon of salt, 2 tablespoon of mustard oil and egg white – and mix thoroughly.

Take a piece of clean thin white cotton cloth (with no starch in it) around 3 inches by 3 inches; place the remaining salt along with cumin powder, cinnamon powder, fennel powder, coriander powder, fenugreek powder, black cardamoms, green cardamoms, cinnamon and cloves in the cloth and tie it into a little bundle. Keep aside.

Take the minced mutton mixture and form it into small balls – around 30 grams each. Keep aside.

Take a large pan and pour in one litre of water. Add the bay leaves along with the spice bundle and heat on full flame. As soon as the water begins to boil add the mutton balls and continue boiling on medium flame till most of the liquid evaporates.

Take another bowl and pour in around 200 ml of water. Remove the spice bundle from the pan place it in the bowl and squeeze it thoroughly. You can now throw the spice bundle away – its job is done.

Now pour the water in the bowl into the pan and boil once again for around 30 seconds. Remove the pan from the flame.

Pour the remaining mustard oil into a frying pan; add the chopped onions and fry them till they take on a golden brown texture. Once the onions are done, grind them and put them back in the frying pan. Now add the yoghurt and the cumin seeds and boil on a medium flame; keep stirring the mixture to ensure that the yoghurt does not curdle.

Take this mixture and pour it into the pan containing the mutton balls and the spiced gravy. Add the ghee and cook on a low flame for around five minutes.

Pour your Gushtaba into a suitable serving dish, garnish it with coriander leaves or mint leaves and serve it hot. Traditionally, Gushtaba is served with steaming hot Basmati rice.

Enjoy your celebration!

Boman Irani talks about Matters of the Heart

Today is World Heart Day – all over the world, people from all walks of life are focussing on ways to create heart-healthy environments. At P Mark Mustard Oil, we see it as a perfect day for rededicating ourselves to Mustard Oil, widely recognized by doctors, cardiologists and medical researchers as “the ultimate edible oil for the Indian heart”.

In this short video, Boman Irani points out how the medical fraternity has started acknowledging the heart health benefits of mustard oil – something that Indians have always been aware of since ancient times. After all, Mustard Oil has been known to have been around for more than five thousand years!

Doctors and scientists tell us that a heart-friendly cooking oil requires the following attributes:

  • Cholesterol-free
  • Tran fats-free
  • Low in saturated fat
  • High in monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat
  • An ideal ratio of Omega 6 and Omega 3
  • A high smoking point

 

And you know what? Mustard oil has all these attributes!

This is really heartening news, isn’t it? That is why for all us in India, World Heart Day should also be celebrated as World Mustard Oil Day in recognition of the role played by Mustard Oil in creating a heart-healthy planet. Let the celebrations begin… with wholehearted joy and happiness.

 

A Real-Life Hero!

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It’s great having a brand ambassador who has played amazing roles like Professor Virus, Lucky Singh and Dr Asthana; but when one’s brand ambassador plays the role a real flesh-and-blood icon, it’s a great honour for both the ambassador and the brand.

P Mark Mustard Oil is truly gratified that its brand ambassador Boman Irani is playing the role of Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi in the upcoming movie, Jhalki. This isn’t a very large role per se but Boman is very clear about why he signed on for it. He strongly feels that a fearless, selfless social activist like Kailash Satyarthi deserves a biopic and it is important for Indians to know their heroes.

And indeed, Satyarthi is a real life hero. He has risked his life to make India a safer and better place for children. His child rights movement Bachpan Bachao Andolan has done some amazing work in rescuing children from child labour and trafficking. It has also campaigned relentlessly to give children the right to free and compulsory education – which could, in the long term, be a game-changer for India.

Inspired by Kailash Satyarthi, Boman signed on readily when the role was offered to him. He believes that this is a story that needs to be told… indeed must be told; because India needs role models like Kailash Satyarthi.

“A Feeling of Family”

While shooting a series of messages with Boman Irani at the ITC Grand Central in Mumbai, the conversation inevitably veered around to food. After all, Boman is one of Bollywood’s best known foodies. It was a casual, freewheeling chat… unplanned and unscripted – but we kept the camera rolling, and that’s how we got this delightful video clip.

In his own inimitable style, Boman talks about the food he loves – and also (in totally tongue-in-cheek terms) the kind of food he doesn’t care too much for. He takes a good-natured dig at fancy artsy cuisine which is presented with lovely garnishing and decorative add-ons – but in tiny quantities. Like all foodies, Boman likes his helpings large and generous.

While Boman has always known all about the best places to eat in Mumbai since his childhood years, he discovered the delights of north Indian cuisine only when he started shooting for films in places like Delhi and Punjab. A whole new world of culinary experiences opened up for him – tastes and flavours that he had never imagined possible. Coming face to face with Dhaba food gave him his first taste of mustard oil.

In talking about this new experience, Boman has an extremely interesting description for the unique flavour of mustard oil. He calls it “a feeling of family” – because it instantly evokes the nostalgia and emotional stirrings of home-cooked food.

A Feeling of Family – what a lovely way to describe the homely charms of mustard oil!

Boman and the Missing Pickle

Boman Irani finds himself in a plaintive mood in this fun-filled video. What’s the matter? Well, he’s ordered a meal – and it has arrived, but Room Service forgot to deliver the achaar (pickle).

So Boman throws a playful tantrum, at the same time explaining why the pickle is so important to him. He says he’s essentially an Indian at heart – and Indians certainly love their pickles; that would explain the mind-boggling variety of pickles one can see all across the country. Believe it or not – there are thousands of different types of pickles and pickling recipes out there, each more delicious than the next.

Mustard oil is an integral part of India’s pickling tradition – a tradition that, according to food historians, is more than 4000 years old! It adds that delightful touch of zing to everyday meals and even mundane food can be made more enticing with a touch of pickle. More importantly, mustard oil is a natural preservative that makes your pickles last for months – even years! That’s the reason mustard oil has been the preferred medium for pickling across generations, particularly in north India.

Ask around and you will find that everybody seems to have their very own favourite pickle. Boman says his all-time favourite since his childhood is Mango Pickle. What’s yours?