Well-known author and food journalist Sarina Kamini is a big fan of Mustard Oil and traces her connection with this fascinating oil to her Kashmiri DNA. Her father was a Kashmiri married to an Australian, and food became an important part of Sarina’s life because both Kashmiris and Australians really love their food. Sarina’s love for Kashmiri food was expanded and heightened by the influence of her paternal grandmother, Kamini Ganju. And through this Kashmiri connection developed her love for Mustard Oil.
Sarina, who also goes under the name of “The Spice Mistress”, has travelled extensively. Her culinary journeys have taken her to all over the world – Melbourne, California, Paris, Edinburgh, Barcelona and, of course, India.
Sarina’s description of Mustard Oil will have you looking at this oil from a completely different perspective. She starts where most people start – with the characteristic pungency of the oil. However, she is quick to point out that the sharpness that one feels in the nose has a completely different effect on the tongue. The oil has a warm, inviting feeling when it’s in your mouth. Moreover, Mustard Oil is a viscose substance and this viscosity allows the heat and flavour to spread gently across your tongue and palate, coating the entire inside of your mouth with its full-bodied flavour.
This creates a unique experience for the taste buds – an experience that encompasses a well-balanced sense of taste, texture, warmth and richness. This is the “Mustard Oil Experience” in the true sense of the term. Sarina describes the flavour of Mustard Oil as “hot, floral and pungent”. It draws out the flavours that lie within the ingredients and spices that are cooked in this oil. She also admires the sheer versatility of the oil – it can be used for cooking, frying, finishing as well as tempering. Not many cooking oils can do all this.
For Sarina, the flavour and aroma of Mustard Oil brings back so many memories… of her father, of culinary adventures, and of experimenting with a cooking medium that never ceases to surprise.