Yellow Flowers and Mustard Oil

Recently I had been to Rajasthan and want to share what I saw there which took me by surprise. Acres and acres of land without any gap was having cultivation of Mustard

(Rapeseed) Plants in flowering stage (Yellow Flowers). It was wonderful to see the collective sight of yellow flowers upto the horizon. At the same time, was suspecting why the farmers are here so fond of only Mustard and have chosen a mono-crop, this season. Are they growing this for bio-diesel? With doubt in mind I did a quick Googling and got convinced that it is usual for Rajasthan and adj. states to grow Mustard during Rabi (Winter) season. This is purely for domestic consumption.

The yellow/white mustard is indigenous to Southern Europe, whereas brown mustard is from China introduced to Northern India. Mustard prefers loamy or clayey loam soil. The major processed products are mustard powder used in the manufacture of mayonnaise, dried or dehydrated mustard leaves, whole mustard seeds etc. Whole mustard is used as a flavouring agent in Indian cooking, whereas ground mustard provides flavour and consistency in Bengali fish curries.

Mustard flour has preservative and antioxidant properties in addition to providing flavour and colour.
It was also heartening to know that the entire oil extraction happens through unorganized small oil mills using Ghanis and not using any big machinery. Entirely extracted by pressing (cold process). To think of how the entire cultivation of mustard will be pressed like this is mind  boggling. But it happens in this incredible India.  First grade oil, so good for the health !. Which south Indians are missing by not using Mustard Oil and depending on factory made refined oils of various kinds.


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