The Story of a Spicy Indian Snack Food

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It’s a humble homemade snack food. It originated in Bengal and later spread to Bihar, Orissa and Assam. It is called “Jhal Muri” – and every region has its own variation of the recipe. Some prefer it with a squeeze of lemon juice; some like a dash of tamarind water; some mix Chana Chur (another typically Indian snack food); and the degree of spiciness also varies from region to region (Jhal means spicy; Muri means Puffed Rice).

It’s an irresistible flavour – and even the British soldiers serving in India during World War II developed a taste for it. Decades later, Angus Denoon, a British chef fell in love with the enticing flavour during a visit to Calcutta. He carried the recipe for Jhal Muri back to England. He started a food van called ‘Everybody Love Love Jhal Muri Express’ and began selling this Bengali snack food on the streets of London – and it was an instant hit. The Brits loved it!

In this post we are sharing one of the many, many recipes for Jhal Muri.

Here are the ingredients for a single serving:

  • Puffed Rice (Muri): 250 grams
  • Mustard Oil: 2 tablespoon
  • Onion: Half a medium-sized onion
  • Cucumber: Half
  • Tomato: 1
  • Green Chilli: 1
  • Coriander (Dhania) Leaves: 1 tablespoon
  • Lemon Juice: Fresh, just a dash
  • Salt: to taste

Preparation:

Chop the onion, cucumber, tomato, green chilli and coriander leaves.

Method:

Take a bowl and pour the Puffed Rice (Muri) into it along with the chopped onion, cucumber, tomato, green chilli and coriander leaves. Add salt to taste. Then pour the Mustard Oil into the bowl and toss the contents thoroughly till the white puffed rice turns golden yellow with a light coating of Mustard Oil. Finally, add a dash of freshly squeezed lemon juice and give the contents another toss.

Your classic Indian snack food is now ready. Enjoy this authentic version of the fast-food that has been driving the Brits crazy since the 1940s!

 

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Lower Your Blood Pressure… Naturally

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In recent times lifestyle issues and related dietary problems have led to elevated blood pressure emerging as a major health issue. High blood pressure increases the risks associated with heart disease, stroke, kidney disease – and many other related health problems. It is a dangerous condition and it can be life-threatening.

Studies by the Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Centre indicate that a natural way to control blood pressure is by introducing a regular intake of Mustard into one’s daily diet – this includes Mustard in all its forms: Mustard Seeds, Mustard Greens (the leaves) and Mustard Oil.

Blood Pressure can effectively be lowered by the regular inclusion of Vitamin C, Calcium and Dietary Fibre in daily nutrition – and Mustard Greens are rich in all these essential nutrients. Moreover, to reduce blood pressure one has to curtail one’s sodium intake. Again, Mustard Seeds, Mustard Greens and Mustard Oil have very low sodium content.

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In particular, Mustard Oil is rich in good fats like Monounsaturated Fatty Acids (MUFA) and Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFA), and is also effective in enhancing good cholesterol (HDL) while controlling bad cholesterol (LDL). Moreover, Mustard Oil and Mustard Seeds are rich in Omega-3 Fats. All these properties go a long way in lowering blood pressure and significantly reducing the risk of heart disease.

It is interesting to note that the Dietary Guidelines (2010) of the United States Department of Health & Human Services strongly recommends Mustard as a part of the DASH diet (Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension) – a clear acknowledgement of the natural power of Mustard in lowering blood pressure.

You don’t need pills and capsules… only Mustard!

Fight Hypertension with Mustard Oil

Humble Vegetables, Regal Flavour

 

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Today’s post looks at a recipe that is made using two very common, everyday vegetables: Potatoes and Pointed Gourd (Parval). Nothing all that special about these two vegetables – but add the zing of cold-pressed Mustard Oil and you have a dish that’s fit for a king!

Let’s get the ingredients in place first:

  • Potato: 250 gram
  • Pointed Gourd (Parval): 150 gram
  • Mustard Oil: 2 tablespoon
  • Onion: 1, medium sized
  • Tomato: 2
  • Curry Leaves: 5
  • Garlic Cloves: 3
  • Chilli Powder: 2 teaspoon
  • Turmeric (Haldi) Powder: 1 teaspoon
  • Garam Masala: 2 teaspoon
  • Salt: to taste

Preparation:

Peel and boil the potatoes; mash the potatoes and add a little Garam Masala and salt. Slice or grate the onion. Puree the tomato. Crush the garlic cloves. Cut the pointed gourd lengthwise and apply a coating of turmeric powder and chilli powder.

Method:

Heat a little Mustard Oil in a frying pan and fry the pointed gourd till it becomes crisp.

Heat the remaining Mustard Oil in a pan. Add the garlic, curry leaves, tomato puree and onion. Saute for a few minutes till the onion slices/pieces turn golden brown. Add the mashed potatoes and the fried pointed gourd. Cook on a medium flame till you have a dry, crisp texture.

Your mouth-watering dish of Potato and Pointed Gourd in Mustard Oil is now ready for serving. It is usually eaten with roti/chapatti. In some parts of India, the final dish is drizzled with hot Mustard Oil to enhance the overall taste.

A Delightful Omelette Curry

 

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The Egg Curry is quite a common dish all across India… the Omelette Curry is not! It is part of the creative cross-pollination that happened between British and Indian culinary traditions during Colonial times. The results of such crossover experiments are delicious – as this recipe amply demonstrates.

Here are the ingredients that will be required:

  • Eggs: 5, large
  • Mustard Oil: 3 tablespoon
  • Mustard Seeds: 2 tablespoon
  • Onion: 1, medium-sized, grated
  • Tomatoes: 4, medium-sized, pureed
  • Corn Flour: 1 teaspoon
  • Green Chilies: 3, chopped
  • Turmeric (Haldi) Powder: Just a pinch
  • Cumin (Jeera) Powder: Just a pinch
  • Coriander (Dhania) Powder: 1 teaspoon
  • Ginger Paste: 1 teaspoon
  • Garlic Paste: 1 teaspoon
  • Red Chili Powder: Just a pinch
  • Nigella (Kalonji) Seeds: Just a pinch
  • Coriander (Dhania) Leaves: For garnishing
  • Salt and Pepper: to taste

 

Preparation:

Grind the Mustard Seeds with a little water into a thick paste.

Method:

Heat 2 tablespoons of the Mustard Oil in a pan on a medium flame. Add the ginger paste, garlic paste, Nigella seeds and chopped green chilies. As soon as the mixture begins to splutter, add the grated onions along with a pinch of salt. Fry till the onions turn a shade of golden brown. Now add the turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder and cumin powder. Continue frying.

After around five minutes, add the Mustard paste and fry for another minute or two; then add the pureed tomatoes. Let the mixture cook till it simmers. Add half a cup of water and let it continue simmering till the gravy takes on a rich, thick consistency. Keep aside.

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Beat the eggs. Add the corn flour and pepper and continue beating till the mixture becomes thick and frothy.

Heat one tablespoon of Mustard Oil in a non-stick frying pan on medium heat. Pour the eggs, corn flour and pepper mixture into this pan and cover it with a lid. When the base is done and you can still see some liquefied egg mixture floating on top, use a spatula to turn the partially done omelette over. Continue cooking till your omelette is done.

Cut the omelette into neat pieces and add these pieces to the pan containing the gravy. Mix well – and finally, garnish with coriander leaves.

Your Anglo-Indian styled Omelette Curry is now ready.

A New Generation Rediscovers Mustard Oil

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This blog has often written about the growing support that Mustard Oil has received from cardiologists, medical professionals and scientific researchers. One of the most prominent voices among them is eminent cardiologist Dr. S. C. Manchanda who has strongly been recommending Mustard Oil for heart health across more than two decades. Over the years, the acknowledgement that Mustard Oil is good for the heart has come from global institutions like the Harvard School of Medicine and the American Heart Association.

Now a new generation of healthcare professionals are rediscovering the diverse health benefits of Mustard Oil. Nutritionist and Clinical Dietician, Pooja Makhija believes that Mustard Oil is excellent for cardiovascular health. It has the power to raise the levels of good cholesterol (HDL) at the same time lowering bad cholesterol (LDL). Pooja is a celebrity health guru (she’s the nutritionist who keeps Deepika Padukone fit and in wonderful shape) and her views go a long way in building a contemporary, youthful image for Mustard Oil in the eyes of the current generation.

All this celebrity support has undoubtedly gone a long way in transforming the way the present generation of consumers looks at Mustard Oil. In particular, seasoned stars like Amitabh Bachchan and Boman Irani have been endorsing Mustard Oil as brand ambassadors, joining the eminent group of cardiologists and healthcare professionals in creating a definitive image makeover for Mustard Oil.

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A few decades ago, young urban consumers treated Mustard Oil as an old-fashioned product from a bygone era. It is heartening to note that this is no longer the case. Today young consumers take special pride in going back to their grassroots to rediscover the enormous health benefits offered by this ancient oil.

Boman Irani – Small Roles, Big Hits

Boman Irani doesn’t need large, meaty roles to get noticed. Give him just five minutes onscreen and he is sure to leave a lasting impression. He has done so, time and time again in unforgettable roles like Oscar Fernandez (in Honeymoon Travels) and Dinaz Aziz (in Luck by Chance) – small appearances that stand out even though they had very little screen-time as part of the overall story.

The trend continues in 2018. Two huge hits have Boman in small but memorable roles. The first is Parmanu – The Story of Pokhran; the other, Sanju – the much waited Sanjay Dutt biopic.

How does Boman Irani manage to stand out even in small blink-and-you-will-miss-it roles? At P Mark Mustard Oil, we know the answer to this question. No matter how small a role may be Boman always gives it his 100 percent in terms of involvement, preparation and intensity. We have seen him do this across all the television commercials that he has appeared in as the brand ambassador for P Mark Mustard Oil. He doesn’t cut any corners or make any compromises… he simply delivers his very best – and the results are plain to see.

It all boils down to his ability to focus his complete, undivided attention on the essence of the character he is playing. In this one-minute video clip, he describes this ability by narrating a short inspiring story from ancient India… watch it here:

 

Chicken Legs… Dancing in a Mustard Gravy

Chicken Legs… Dancing in a Mustard Gravy

Across Bihar and Bengal, food lovers do amazing things with Mustard Oil. Here’s an example: succulent chicken leg pieces in a mouth-watering Mustard gravy.

Let’s begin by putting together the ingredients that you would need:

  • Chicken, leg pieces: 1 kilogram
  • Mustard Oil: 3 tablespoon
  • Mustard Paste: 2 tablespoon
  • Onions: 5
  • Tomatoes: 2, chopped
  • Green Chillies: 4
  • Turmeric (Haldi) Powder: Just a pinch
  • Cumin (Jeera) Seeds: Just a pinch
  • Ginger Paste: 2 teaspoon
  • Garlic Paste: 1 tablespoon
  • Garam Masala Powder: 1 teaspoon
  • Green Cardamom: 5
  • Cinnamon: 1 stick
  • Bay Leaf: 1
  • Sugar: 1 tablespoon
  • Salt: 2 teaspoon

Preparation:
Grate the onions. Wash the chicken legs and put them in a bowl. Add the grated onions, ginger paste and garlic paste to create a marinade. Mix well. Cover the bowl and keep it aside for one hour.

Method:
Heat the Mustard Oil in a pan on a high flame. Continue heating till the oil reaches its smoking point. Add the sugar and continue heating till the sugar gets charred.

Next, add the cumin seeds, cinnamon stick, green cardamoms and bay leaf. Cook till they crackle and become crisp.

Reduce the flame to Low. Slit the green chillies and sauté them. Add the chopped tomatoes and continue frying till a thick gravy is formed.

Add the marinated Chicken Leg pieces and continue cooking on low heat for around 15 minutes. Keep turning the chicken pieces over to ensure even cooking.

Add the salt and the turmeric powder and continue cooking. The chicken pieces will now take on a golden-brown hue.

Add half a cup of water and keep stirring. Add more water if the gravy becomes too thick – but don’t overdo it. This dish doesn’t come out too well if the gravy is watery.

Now cover the pan and let the contents simmer for around 20 minutes on low heat. At regular intervals, uncover the pan and stir.

Once the chicken leg pieces are well-cooked, add the Mustard Paste and mix well. Continue cooking for a minute or so… and your delectable Chicken in a Mustard Gravy is ready.

Serve hot with steaming rice or Roti’s. Let the heady taste and aroma of Mustard overpower your senses!