Asian Influence: Fiery Bengali mustard

By Jessie Lehail,
Special to The Post

I enjoy experimenting and making new variations of condiments, dips, and spreads. It’s surprisingly simple to do and the benefits include controlling sodium levels and avoiding additives. One of my favourite condiments is mustard, and this homemade version brings together Indian flavours and spices in an easy-to-make recipe.
Mustard requires no cooking. In fact, heating the ingredients ruins the flavour. The biggest step for this South Asian variation is soaking the whole mustard seeds with ginger, garlic, and chili in apple cider vinegar overnight. In general, mustards contain some form of vinegar, making it acidic enough for long-term refrigerator storage. 
The next day, the mustard seeds will be plumped and soft. After pureeing the mix in a blender, you will be left with a hearty, grainy mustard, perfect for enjoying in your next sandwich.   

• 6 tablespoons yellow mustard seeds
• 4 cloves garlic, diced
• 1 & 1/2 inch slice ginger, peeled and diced
• 1 cup apple cider vinegar
• 2 red chilies 
• 3 teaspoons cayenne powder
• 3 1/2 teaspoons Himalayan sea salt
• 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
• ½ teaspoon ground cumin 
• ½ teaspoon ground coriander seed 
• 4 teaspoons sugar
• 2 teaspoons honey     

Place mustard seeds, garlic, ginger, and chilies in a glass bowl and cover with the vinegar. Let stand for 24 hours at room temperature. Place vinegar mixture in a blender, add cayenne, salt, turmeric, cumin, coriander, honey and sugar, and blend until it becomes creamy. Once blended, place in a glass jar and let stand at a cool room temperature for 3 days. Then store in the fridge.

Jessie Lehail is the author of Indian Influence, a food blog that takes global eats and reinterprets them with a South Asian influence. Visit her blog at

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