Whether you’re obsessed with the unique flavor of coconut oil or the dotted presence of healthy olive oil in your food, there is no question about the presence of mustard oil in the Indian kitchens. There’s a good reason why chefs across the country use it as their preferred choice of oil to bring out the flavor in the traditional Indian cuisines. This tradition of Indians being quite taken up with mustard oil is predicted to dive well into the future.
A unique flavor that can enamor you
If you’re not used to having mustard oil as a regular part of your meals, it’s pungent taste and unique flavor will soon have you addicted to it if you decide to give it a try. Seems doubtful that an oil can captivate you, right? Well then, go ahead and try it. Chefs throughout India have observed that from the taste point of view, mustard oil is an acquired taste for most people. Although pungent in character, it brings tremendous flavors to any dish. It is a common belief among the chefs that no ingredient can even come close to it—mustard oil has a unique texture to it. It is used as an essential ingredient in many of the dishes in numerous esteemed restaurants throughout India.
It is rare that something that gets people captivated so, can be healthy! But mustard oil is one of the rare exceptions you encounter. Being rich in monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats, it can bring down bad cholesterol by a large margin while taking care of the levels of good HDL cholesterol levels. It can also work as an antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal agent.
Healthier than the other options
It has the edge over other oils due to the optimum ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids present and its low content of saturated fats. It contains about 60 percent monounsaturated fats (MUFA), polyunsaturated fats (PUFA), and saturated fats. These fatty acids are even called ‘good fats.’ The presence of these rich healthy fats helps in lowering the risk of developing heart diseases and also acts as a powerful natural stimulant and improves digestion and appetite by stimulating digestive juices.
There is also a plenty of research going out there about the linolenic acid present in the mustard oil. It is argued that when it is converted to omega-3 fatty acids, it can help fight cancers as well. If it is true, it gets to be one among the list of potential cures against cancer.
What is it used for?
Many experts recommend not to use mustard oil as the sole medium for cooking and instead use a combination of different oils depending on the dish you are cooking. Mustard oil has a high smoking point and as a result, it is ideal for deep frying.
Mustard oil complements both vegetarian and non-vegetarian ingredients and dishes. It brings out their inner flavor. Other food items such as pickles of all kinds taste best when made in mustard oil. In addition, mustard oil can also be used as a salad dressing along with lemon and honey.
There are many dishes like the sarson bata maach, paturi fish, mangsho (mutton), murgir jhol (chicken) that come out way better when cooked with mustard oil.
Many people express their sentiment regarding mustard oil as the one item that can never be replaced in the kitchens.
Owing to mustard oil’s immense health benefits and referring to its high nutrient profile, many people believe it is a good practice to use it during winter as it produces body heat and protects the body from cold. For this reason, people in Rajasthan often use mustard oil on their bodies during winter to keep their skin supple and themselves healthy. Additionally, because of the above-mentioned properties, mustard oil has been used extensively as a cure for cold and cough for decades.
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