So… what exactly is the matter? The answer could lie in the mustard oil that you are using… because all mustard oil is not mustard oil in the true sense of the word.
The healthiest form of mustard oil is cold-pressed; not filtered, not refined… only cold-pressed – which is traditionally called Kachi Ghani Mustard Oil across North India. In cold pressing, mustard oil is extracted by crushing mustard seeds in a rotary press known as Kolhu. The extraction takes place at low temperatures, which ensures that the nutritional value in terms of nutrients and natural antioxidants remains intact. This method also ensures that the oil retains its characteristic pungency – and remember: pungency is, and has always been, an indicator of the genuineness and purity of mustard oil.
What’s going wrong nowadays is that some unscrupulous manufacturers, keen to ride on the growing popularity of Mustard Oil, have started using other manufacturing methods – like solvent extraction which is a chemicals-intensive process; expellers that cause heating resulting in loss of nutrients; and the worst of them all: blending cold-pressed mustard oil with refined oil. All this is done to reduce costs and increase profits. Sadly, there’s only one loser – the consumer.
So if your traditional recipes don’t have the magical flavour they used to, maybe it’s time to take a long hard look at the mustard oil that you are using.