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experiment #2 with mustard oil – Potatoes with onions and peppers

How did you miss experiment number 1? Easily. I hadn’t posted about it yet.

Well, there I was reading A Mad Tea Party‘s back catalog of entries, and I came across this piece about the joys of mustard oil, and I was intrigued. A few months later, I decided to give it a try and dropped her a comment for help finding the piece and looking for suggestions, and she has generously become my guide to this new-to-me lipid.

So I went to my local Indian grocer and located the mustard oil – all of which was explicitly labeled at massage oil, not for consumption. So I went to the guy behind the counter and commiserated with him about the evils of US Customs and their regulations on importing foodstuffs, but I was assured that it was good quality and edible and just the thing I was looking for.

So experiment 1 was going to be with the mashed sweet potatoes served at Cooking with Catladies. Only not only did I decide that they didn’t need any oil, but also I found the taste of the mustard oil surprisingly strong. Straight out of the bottle, it tasted of dark green, earthy things – sort of like gnawing on the very dark tip of leeks. Which I do, so it’s not a deal breaker, but it did put off subsequent experiments.

So I wrote a comment to the original inspiration for the experiment, and I asked her if it was supposed to taste like that (just in case). And heard back that it was indeed, and that high heat cooking mellows out the flavor.

Well, I do surprisingly little high heat cooking. It’s the combination of my love for electric ranges and my love for non-stick cookware. Yes, I know I have no class. I’m okay with that, and it’s easy to make rice and wash dishes.

But I’m still excited about the mustard oil.

So when I was looking for something to do with two scrawny remaining potatoes, I reached for the mustard oil.

Potatoes with onions and peppers

I poured 2 teaspoons of mustard oil into a pan, and turned up the heat.

When the oil had spread out, I added 1 tsp mustard seeds (and propped a larger skillet over top because they pop up and get everywhere otherwise).

After the mustard seeds were popping away gleefully, I threw in 2 potatoes, cut into pieces just a bit larger that 1cm squared; 1 diced yellow onion; and 2 jalapeno peppers, de-seeded and sliced.

When the onions became limp, I added 2 minced cloves of garlic and a frozen cube of minced cilantro.

I added some curry powder, and that dried things out a bit too much, so I added water. I had the feeling that dicing a fresh tomato into the mix would have been the perfect option here, but I didn’t have any fresh and a can would have been too much.

The end product was tasty. Actually, it was a little too oily, but the oil flavor was mild and delightful and it was not strong at all.

One thought on “experiment #2 with mustard oil – Potatoes with onions and peppers”

  1. The litmus test for the mustard oil fan of course, is to use it raw! ūüėÄ Just a few drops… over Bihari potato mash! Or the famous Bengali street snack – jhal moori! I have a feeling you might be experimenting a lot more!

    For my reference – here is your write up of the Bihari mashed potatoes
    And Green Jackfruit’s jhal moori

    I think I’ll make the former first because I buy potatoes much more frequently than puffed rice, but they both sound delicious.

    Thank you very much for all of the encouragement.

    – Livia

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