As India gears up to celebrate its Republic Day, it's a perfect opportunity to embark on a culinary journey across the states. One ingredient that binds the diverse Indian cuisine together is mustard oil. In this blog, we will explore various traditional dishes from different states of India where mustard oil is a star ingredient, adding to the festivities of Republic Day.
1. West Bengal: Shorshe Ilish (Mustard Hilsa Fish)
West Bengal's love for fish is widely known, and 'Shorshe Ilish' is a testament to this. This iconic dish is made with Hilsa fish, a regional favourite, marinated and cooked in a spicy mustard oil gravy. The rich flavour of mustard oil perfectly complements the delicate taste of Hilsa, making it a must-try dish.
2. Punjab: Sarson da Saag
A quintessential Punjabi dish, Sarson da Saag is a winter favourite. Made with mustard greens, spinach, and other leafy vegetables, it is cooked in mustard oil and spices. This hearty dish is often served with Makki di Roti (cornbread) and a dollop of butter, embodying the robust flavours of Punjab.
3. Assam: Masor Tenga (Sour Fish Curry)
Assam's Masor Tenga is a light and tangy fish curry, pivotal to Assamese cuisine. It typically uses river fish, which is cooked in a broth flavoured with mustard oil and local herbs. This dish, with its subtle yet pungent flavours, is a celebration of Assam’s love for simplicity and natural ingredients.
4. Kashmir: Rogan Josh
This aromatic lamb curry, rich in spices like fennel and ginger is cooked in mustard oil to add depth and an unconventional flavour profile, reflecting the fusion of traditional and contemporary tastes.
5. Bihar: Litti Chokha
Litti Chokha, a traditional Bihari dish, consists of wheat balls (litti) stuffed with a spicy sattu (roasted gram flour) mixture and roasted over coal. It is served with Chokha, a mix of roasted eggplant, tomatoes, and potatoes, all prepared in mustard oil. This rustic dish is a flavorful representation of Bihar's culinary heritage.
6. Kerala: Meen Peera
In Kerala, Meen Peera is a beloved dish that showcases the state's coastal flavours. Small fish like anchovies or sardines are combined with grated coconut, kokum, and green chillies, then tempered in mustard oil. The use of mustard oil in this otherwise mildly spiced dish brings a unique warmth and pungency, making it a treat for your tastebuds.
From the spicy fish dishes of Bengal and Assam to the robust flavours of Punjab and Bihar, and down to the aromatic dishes of Kerala, mustard oil binds these diverse culinary traditions. As we commemorate Republic Day, these dishes serve as a delicious reminder of India's rich and varied cultural heritag