7 Mustard Dishes To Add A Zing To Your Meals
Image Credit: Freepik

The taste and smell of mustard, also called sarson in Hindi, are quite unique and often become the defining flavour of a dish. It is a versatile ingredient in the sense that it is used in various forms, including leaves or whole seeds, ground into a paste, or in oil. Using mustard can make a dish very flavourful and add depth to it with its tangy and spicy notes.

Mustard leaves are a popular ingredient in desi households. In North India, winter is synonymous with a meal of Sarson Da Saag. In parts of the North East, including Nagaland, mustard leaves are lightly seasoned and eaten along with rice and meat. Mustard leaves are known for their slightly bitter and pungent flavour, which goes well with a variety of spices and ingredients. 

In the West, too, mustard is used in a variety of savoury recipes. They are found in recipes that include mustard as a defining element, glazes, or sometimes are an integral part of a sauce, salad dressing or crust. In India,  you can use it in hearty curry, a simple stir-fry, or a flavourful paratha, transforming your dish into nutritious and delicious meals. Read ahead to find recipes that include mustard as a defining element. Most of these are simple to cook and can be made at home.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Honey Mustard Chicken

To make this simple baked dish, you will need to use Kasundi, the Bengali variety of mustard sauce or relish. This is easily available in stores or can be made at home as well. Preheat the oven to 200°C. In a small bowl, add Kasundi, honey, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper. 

Take chicken breast pieces, place them in a baking dish and pour the mustard mixture over them. Save a little bit of the mixture for later. Make sure the chicken gets coated properly. Bake this for about 25–30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked. Drizzle the mustard sauce over the baked chicken before it is served.

Bengali Mustard Fish (Shorshe Maach)

Photo Credit: Freepik

Mustard seeds and mustard oil are both used in this delicacy from Bengal. Soak the mustard seeds in water for 15 minutes, then grind them into a smooth paste with green chillies and a little water. Marinate the fish pieces with turmeric powder, red chilli powder, and salt. Heat some mustard oil in a pan until it smokes. This will give it a trademark flavour. When it smokes, remember to lower the heat and only then add the pieces of fish.

Fry them lightly on both sides and then remove them. To keep the flavour of the fried fish, in the same pan, add the mustard paste and cook it for a few minutes. Then add the fried fish back in the pan, cover it, and cook on low heat for 10–15 minutes until the fish is cooked. Eat this with rice on a Sunday afternoon and take a nap right after.

Aloo Mustard Curry 

Video Credit: Foodingale

Potatoes and mustard are a match made in heaven. Soak mustard seeds in water for 15 minutes, then grind with green chillies to a smooth paste. Add fewer chillies if you don’t enjoy too much heat in your food. Heat mustard oil in a pan until it smokes, then lower the heat and add cumin seeds. When they sizzle, add onions and sauté them. 

Then add the mustard paste and cook it for a few minutes. Add turmeric powder, the potatoes, and salt. The potatoes need to be coated with the spices. Add some water to this mix, then cover the dish and continue to cook. When the potatoes are done, finish them off with some fresh coriander leaves.

Sarson Ki Bhurji

This delightful, nutritious stir-fry made with mustard leaves, spices, and a few other ingredients allows the flavours of the mustard seeds to shine. The cooking is simple as well. Wash thoroughly and then chop the mustard leaves. Heat the mustard oil in a pan until it smokes. Add cumin seeds and let them crackle. 

Then add minced garlic and ginger, and sauté them before adding the onions. When the onions change colour, add tomatoes, green chillies, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, and salt. Finally, add the chopped mustard leaves, cover and cook the dish on low heat for about 15–20 minutes for it to be ready.

Sarson Aur Palak Ka Paratha 

Give the regular parathas a twist with mustard leaves and spinach. In a large bowl, add whole wheat flour, mustard leaves, spinach, green chillies, cumin seeds, carom seeds, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, and salt. Mix it well and then keep adding water gradually and kneading the mixture to form a soft dough. Cover the dough with a damp cloth and let it rest for 15–20 minutes. 

Make small, round balls with the dough in your palm. Roll them out into parathas and cook each paratha on both sides on a tava. Ghee or oil can be added to the parathas as per preference.

Sarson Ka Raita 

This is a very flavourful raita or dip. Blanch the mustard leaves in boiling water for a few minutes. Put them in ice or cold water so that they retain their colour and don’t get overcooked. 

Drain them and then chop them. In a bowl, combine the whisked yoghurt, blanched mustard leaves, chopped onion, tomato, green chillies, roasted cumin powder, black salt, and table salt. Add coriander leaves for freshness.

Sarson Ki Kadhi

This is a hearty, tangy yoghurt-based curry with mustard leaves, best when eaten with hot rice. In a bowl, whisk yoghurt, besan (gram flour), turmeric powder, red chilli powder, and salt. Add water to make a smooth batter. When the mustard oil heats and reaches its smoking point, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, dried red chillies, and curry leaves. Sauté them for a few seconds and then add chopped mustard leaves and cook them till the leaves wilt. 

Pour the yoghurt mixture into the pan and keep stirring so that no lumps form. Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for 20–25 minutes until the kadhi thickens.