You Think Your Nose Knows? Not Anymore…

P Mark Kachi Ghani Mustrad OilIf you ever went to buy Mustard Oil with your grandfather (or father, depending on how old you currently are), you’ll probably remember a common “Quality Check” that he used to carry out. He would take a little bit of the Mustard Oil on the palm of his hand, spread it with the thumb of the other hand, and breathe in the aroma. The characteristic pungency would sting the nasal canal – indicating that the Mustard Oil was pure and of good quality.

Nowadays one can’t do that before buying Mustard Oil because the oil comes in a sealed bottle. However, even today some old-timers take a drop of oil from the bottle and use their noses to check the quality.

Sadly, this tried-and-tested Quality Check may not work in today’s world. You see, there are some brands that are using chemical-laden solvent extraction processes (instead of traditional cold-pressing methods) to extract oil from mustard seeds. This not only ruins the nutritional value of the oil – it also removes (or at best, reduces) the pungency. So what do these brands do? They retroactively add “artificial pungency”. This is a chemical that synthetically gives you the feel of pungency without the health benefits.

Do remember, the pungency of Mustard Oil comes from allyl isothiocyanate (AITC) which gives Mustard Oil powerful cancer-fighting capabilities along with many other health benefits. It is because of AITC that Mustard Oil is currently being used in the treatment of colon, intestinal and colorectal cancers.

So don’t be fooled by fake pungency. Place your trust in the real thing: pure cold-pressed Mustard Oil. It’s natural. It’s healthy. And its pungency packs a real punch!

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Grandma’s Famous Bhartha

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Let’s try and recreate a traditional delicacy from the past – the famous Baingan Bhartha… charcoal-smoked aubergines that bring back memories of the delightful flavours and aromas wafting from Grandma’s kitchen. There’s just one problem: our swank modern-day kitchens don’t have charcoal-fired ovens – so we’ll have to sacrifice the “charcoal flavour” that Grandma’s Bhartha had. But other than that, this recipe is completely authentic down to the last detail.

The ingredients you require for recreating this traditional dish are:

  • Aubergines (Baingan): 1 Kilogram, large
  • Onions: 150 grams
  • Tomatoes: 500 grams
  • Ginger: One 10-gram piece
  • Mustard Oil: 250 millilitres
  • Cumin (Jeera) Seeds: 1 teaspoon
  • Kashmiri Deghi Mirch: 1 teaspoon
  • Green Chillies: 4
  • Salt: to taste
  • Coriander (Dhania) Leaves: For garnishing

Preparation:

Apply a thin layer of Mustard Oil on each aubergine. Skewer the aubergine and roast it over an open flame. Keep turning and roasting till the skin of the aubergine blackens and begins peeling off. Remove the aubergine from the skewer and immerse it in a pan containing water. Allow it to cool. Repeat this process for each aubergine. When the aubergines have cooled, remove the stem, peel the aubergines and chop them coarsely.

Finely chop the onions.

Finely chop the tomatoes.

Peel and finely chop the piece of ginger.

Remove the stems of the green chillies, and wash, slit, deseed and chop them.

Wash and coarsely chop the coriander leaves.

Method:

Heat the Mustard Oil in a pan on a Medium flame. When the oil reaches its smoking point add the cumin seeds and sauté till the seeds begin to splutter. Add the onions and continue to sauté till the onions take on a transparent texture. Now add the ginger and continue stirring and frying the contents for half-a-minute or so.

Reduce the flame to Low heat and add the Kashmiri Deghi Mirch and salt. Keep stirring. Next, add the tomatoes and keep stirring.

Add the chopped aubergines and keep frying and stirring for around 5 minutes. Add the green chillies and keep stirring.

Remove the pan from the flame and transfer the contents to a serving dish. Garnish with the chopped coriander leaves.

Your traditional Baingan Bhartha is now ready to be served. This dish is usually eaten with Roti or Naan.

A Back-to-Grassroots Approach to Promoting Mustard Oil

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Regular readers of this blog would know that for many years now, we have been proactively promoting the use of mustard oil as one of the healthiest edible oils for the heart, the colon, the gastrointestinal tract and various other parts of the body.

For more than 85 years, we have been the torchbearers for good old traditional Indian cold-pressed Mustard Oil, widely known as “Kachchi Ghani” across North India. Mustard Oil extracted via cold compression is 100 percent natural and it contains no chemicals or additives.

Our widespread activities in championing the cause of Mustard and Mustard Oil are not limited to just consumers – we also believe in an integrated back-to-grassroots approach… going all the way back to the mustard farmer.

Puri Oil Mills Limited – the company that manufactures P Mark Mustard Oil – has strongly been advocating for various interventions by the Government that could help in making mustard cultivation more viable and attractive for Indian farmers, thereby ensuring a steady growth in the annual acreage under mustard cultivation. A few months ago, Vivek Puri, the company’s Managing Director, wrote an article that presented a strategy through which mustard cultivation could be expanded significantly while ensuring that farmers’ incomes also increased – resulting in a win-win situation for both consumers as well as farmers. You can read the article here:

https://doctor.ndtv.com/living-healthy/this-simple-method-can-help-double-the-income-of-farmers-by-2022-1962157

Among other things, the article seeks the development of a National Mustard Policy to ensure that the needs of mustard farmers are taken care of, thereby addressing the issue right from the point of inception of the mustard value chain. This back-to-grassroots approach could go a long way in promoting Mustard Oil and its wide array of health and nutrition benefits.

Toast meets Aloo Tikki

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This blog has often written about various forms of crossover cuisine that were created by combining British dishes with Indian ones during the colonial times. Here’s one such snack item that originated in the Punjab region when some innovative cook decided to combine Toast with Aloo Tikki!

The ingredients you will need are:

  • Potatoes: 3, medium sized
  • Onion: 1 medium sized
  • Tomato: 1 medium sized
  • Paav: 4
  • Mustard Oil: 2 tablespoon
  • Coriander (Dhania) Leaves, finely cut: 2 teaspoon
  • Green Chillies: 3
  • Cumin (Jeera) Seeds: half a teaspoon
  • Dry Mango Powder (Amchur): half a teaspoon
  • Red Chilli Powder: half a tablespoon
  • Salt: to taste

Preparation:

Peel, boil and mash the potatoes

Chop the onion finely.

Chop the tomato finely.

Chop the green chillies finely.

The Paav is a soft rectangular bun that is used in a popular Indian snack known as Paav Bhaaji. Cut each Paav lengthwise across the centre (to create two slices).

Method:

Mix the chopped onion, tomato and green chillies with the mashed potatoes. Add the spices and continue mashing and mixing to form a homogenous mixture.

Fill each Paav with the potato-onion-tomato-spices filling. Be careful so that the Paav does not break. Each Paav will now look like a mini-sandwich.

Heat the Mustard Oil on a Tava on Medium heat. When the oil reaches its smoking point place the filled Paav on the Tava (all four together if your Tava is large enough). Use a ladle or large spoon to press each Paav down on the Tava. When the Paav turns brown, carefully turn it over, pour a little Mustard Oil on top and around the sides. Again press down on each Paav till it becomes brown.

Your Aloo Tikki Toast is now ready to be served. Serve hot with a sauce or chutney.

The Gift of Omega-3

P Mark Mustard Oil

P Mark Mustard Oil

When Mother Nature lovingly created mustard in the breathtakingly beautiful foothills of the Himalayas many millennia ago, she packed it with an unbelievable array of healthy nutrients. One of these nutrients is Omega-3. In fact, Mustard Oil is one of the largest vegetable sources of Omega-3. Another abundant source is fish oil… which naturally presents problems for staunch vegetarians – so Mustard Oil is the way to go.

Mustard Oil contains an abundance of alpha linolenic acid (ALA). Your body converts this ALA into Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Medical science has proven that Omega-3 is very useful in the prevention and treatment of certain types of cancer – in particular, stomach, colon and colorectal cancer.

Omega-3 is also a vital nutrient for cardiac health. It controls blood pressure; it reduces clotting; it helps in enhancing good cholesterol (HDL) while reducing bad cholesterol (LDL) – in the process rectifying the body’s Triglyceride balance.

Interestingly, your body cannot produce Omega-3. It must obtain it from an external source. And that’s why Mustard Oil is such an amazing gift of Nature – it enables you to get your supply of Omega-3 as a part of your daily diet.

So make your body healthier, fitter and more resilient with Mustard Oil.

A Potato and Cheese Delight

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Food made in a hurry need not always be a compromise. There are some fantastic dishes that can be prepared in a jiffy… like this one. It is an ideal quick-fix when guests drop in unexpectedly.

The ingredients you would need are:

  • Potatoes: 2, medium sized
  • Onion: 1, small
  • Tomato: 1, medium sized
  • Green Chilli: 1
  • Mustard Oil: 2 tablespoon
  • Coriander (Dhania) Leaves, chopped: 1 teaspoon
  • Cheese: 1 cube
  • Egg: 1
  • Pepper: Just a pinch
  • Sugar: 1 teaspoon
  • Salt: to taste

Preparation:

Peel, boil and cut the potatoes into round slices.

Finely chop the onion.

Finely chop the tomato.

Finely chop the green chilli.

Grate the cheese cube.

Break and beat the egg.

Method:

Heat the Mustard Oil in a pan on a High flame. When the oil reaches its smoking point add the chopped onions along with the sugar. Fry lightly – and then add the chopped tomato and green chilli. Continue frying.

Reduce the heat to Medium and add the potato pieces along with the pepper and salt. Add the grated cheese and stir to mix all the ingredients.

Now pour the beaten egg over the top of the potato mixture. Reduce the flame to Low, cover the pan and allow the contents to cook for around 4 minutes.

Remove from heat and pour the contents into a serving dish. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

That’s it! Your quick and easy Potatoes and Cheese dish is ready to be served.

Which Mustard Oil Do You Use?

P Mark Mustard Oil

P Mark Mustard Oil

If you ask consumers: “Which Mustard Oil do you use?” they will probably tell you the brand. But then you ask: “No, no – which Mustard Oil?” And you’ll probably draw a blank stare… because for most people Mustard Oil is Mustard Oil.

The point we are trying to make here is that when many consumers think they are giving their family the goodness of traditional mustard oil, they are in fact being duped. There’s a lot to watch out for when you buy Mustard Oil.

The oil that you should seek is traditional Indian cold-pressed Mustard Oil, commonly referred to as “Kachchi Ghani” by some consumers. This is mustard oil extracted at low temperatures using wooden rotary oil mills known as Kolhu. This oil is 100 percent natural with no chemicals or additives.

Sadly, in today’s market there are many aberrations that pass themselves off as mustard oil. There are oils blended with (cheaper) refined oils; there are oils extracted using methods that involve chemicals; there even are oils that have no pungency – with the pungency being artificially added later.

These not-so-great “versions” of Mustard Oil are being marketed in many deceitful ways – by calling them low-smoke mustard oil or non-pungent mustard oil. Please be careful – because these do not give you the enormous health benefits that cold-pressed Mustard Oil has always offered… for thousands of years.

So that brings us back to our question: “Which Mustard Oil do you use?”