Mustard oil, commonly known as Sarson ka tel, is a vegetable oil extracted from seeds of the mustard plant. Intricately interwoven in the Indian culture, this oil dates back to Roman times, not only as a cooking option but a medicinal one as well. Looking back, mustard was the only cooking oil used in many Indian kitchens.
FLAVOUR AND SMELL
Mustard oil's well-recognised flavour comes from its content of allyl isothiocyanate. Much like coffee beans are known to revive our sense of smell, mustard oil to has a similar effect owing to its very distinct smell. As seasoned chefs and everyday cooks tend to sniff kitchen ingredients before they use them, a whiff of mustard oil awakens their sense of smell, making it easier for them to identify a variety of fragrances, like the special smell of Indian spices.
Mustard plants belong to the family of Brassicas, which also include turnips, cabbage and other vegetables. Its flavour thus comes from the chemical concoctions it shared with the other members of the Brassicas family.
TYPES OF MUSTARD OIL
Refined mustard oil is extracted by pressing mustard seeds. It has a pungent taste and is traditionally one of the most commonly used cooking oils. Refined oil can be made from black, brown or white mustard seeds.
Grade I Mustard Oil, more commonly known as Kachchi Ghani, is raw mustard oil in its purest form. It is extracted by grinding high-quality mustard seeds, thus retaining the natural properties and antioxidants of mustard that are extremely beneficial for health.
This is why Kachchi Ghani is considered by some as India's Golden Oil. Extremely rich in flavour and taste, Kachchi Ghani has the natural colour of mustard and is clear and transparent. The stronger its pungency, the purer and healthier the oil.
Not used for edible purposes, Grade II Mustard Oil is obtained by pressing mustard seeds and is mostly used for therapeutic purposes.