Friday, December 28, 2012

Mustard Oil - Tori ko Tel - (तोरी को तेल)

Pure Mustard Oil - Tori ko Tel (तोरी को तेल)

Field of bright yellow mustard plant in full bloom in Chitwan area, Nepal
Mustard oil is an extremely pungent, yellow-colored oil that comes from pressed mustard seeds (Brassica juncea).  In the raw stage, the oil has a bitter, sharp flavor, but once it is heated to the smoking point, the pungency mellows and the oil imparts a delicious flavor to foods that are cooked with the oil. Mustard oil is used as the primary cooking oil in many Nepali households. Nepalese also apply mustard oil to hair to promote healthy growth and use it to as a massage oil for relief from aches and pains.  Good quality Mustard oil stores well.  It is used in deep-frying and also as a natural preservative in many pickles and chutneys.  Furthermore, many Nepali Sandheko dishes (salad-like dishes), stir-fries employ mustard oil to provide added flavor.

I am here today to share my trip to Mustard Seed Pressing Plant in Kathmandu, Nepal.  These photos are captured from the Everest Tori Mil, Kathmandu, Nepal.  The mill owner is Mr. Balram Karki and he has been in the business for the past seventeen years. I would like to thank him for showing me his factory and teaching me how the seeds are pressed into oil.  He says that all the quality mustard seeds came from Citwan, Nawalparasi, and Dang-Bardia District, Nepal. I am really excited to share the pictorial tour of one of the most loved cooking oil of Nepal, Mustard oil - Tori ko Tel (तोरी को तेल).  Here is a pictorial tour of the oil pressing plant. I hope you enjoy watching a real old-fashion way of pressing the mustard seed to extract the oil.

 Field of bright yellow-gold colored mustard plant in Gitanagar, Chitwan District of Southern Nepal.  Chitwan is famous in Nepal because of its dominant production of mustard from which mustard oil is produced.  .........More on the Chitwan district...

Close-up look of clusters of yellow Mustard flower blooms
 In the above picture, the Mustard blooms are maturing and forming into pods. You will notice that the seed pods are cylindrical and forming close to the stem of the plant and when crushed the green pods, it gives away a pleasant mustard smell.  The mature pods will start to brown and burst open into tiny brown mustard seeds.
 Everest Tori Mill, Maitidevi, Dhobi Khola,Kathmandu, Nepal 
A room filled with Mustard seeds stored in a jute sacks at Everest Tori Mill

Another room full of more Mustard seeds in yellow plastic sacs, already cleaned and ready to be poured into the machine.
Mr. Karki is showing his quality seeds that just arrived from Dang-Bardia District of Nepal.  He says, "look! the seeds are  pressed right in front of the customers to extract amber colored oil.  I am so  proud to say that the oil is 100 percent purest and finest.  My customers come from all over and I am known as the friendly neighborhood oil supplier."  I agree with his last sentence - he indeed is a delightful and friendly person!  Mr. Karki also said that his sons are not interested in this business, as they are all gone to foreign land to pursue other opportunities.
Mustard seeds - in my previous blog, I have more images and information of different varieties of Mustard seeds.  Please check it out.
Mustard oil extraction process - In the above pictures, I observed the cold pressing method of extracting the oil from mustard seeds.  I raised my camera high to capture the inside of the machine, where Mr. Karki was pouring the seeds, but that picture became blurry.  I apologize for not posting it. 
This is one of the simplest way of crushing the seeds directly to extract the oil.  It is so much fun to watch how the pressed oil comes out.
 When the seeds are processed into oil, a by-product is obtained which is called mustard seed pressed cake and Peena in Nepali. 

Mustard seeds pressed cakes (Peena) is used in many ways - used for cattle feed, fertilizer, some people wash their hair and face.
Collecting the oil....
...pouring through filter

The final packaging - pure mustard oil is getting ready to be poured up into the bottle.
I started to copy down the price listing that was posted in the wall, but was told that the pricing chart is an old one...just to get a rough  idea, I started to jot down the price list.  Here it is.....One liter package - Rs 224.00, 1/2 liter package - Rs. 117.0, 1 liter (bring your own container) Rs. 231, l liter bottle - Rs. Rs 238, 1/2 liter bottle Rs. 122.00.
The by-product of the oil left in the floor of the mill is in high in demand.  They were selling for Rs 28.00 per kilo.
  My trip to another mustard oil pressing factory in Kathmandu where they produce roasted mustard oil or Bhuteko tori ko tel-भुटेको तोरीको तेल A cold pressed oil is more stronger than the roasted oil.  
 Mustard oil milling - In this process, the mustard seeds are lightly dry-roasted and cooled before putting in the machine.  This softens the harsh raw mustard flavor.  The oil is dark amber colored, where as the cold pressed oil is yellow.
.....ready for final packaging
A hand written friendly sign in Nepali was posted just outside the Everest Tori Mill, which translates to -  "Please do not spit in front of the door of the oil mill. Thank you."  I wanted to capture this sign for a -  "complete Nepali experience".

Locally grown Mustard Greens (Tori ko Saag) came from the valley
Mustard Greens on the way to the market
Beautiful view of fully blooming Mustard Flowers at Gitanagar, Chitwan District, Narayani Zone of Southern Nepal
Here are some of the useful and informative links about Mustard seeds and oil.

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  1. Nice read. Tori ko Tel reminds me of my grandmother.

  2. Have you found the famous place for Mustard Oil "Tori ko tell kuna tau ko lai prakhyata cha?
    Khokana, Laltipur

  3. Thanks for sharing this blog with us.Pungent Mustard Oil is good for health.

  4. Mustard Oil along with extremely minor differences with one another. Nowadays, mustard seeds are generally on the list of preferred condiments which can be used around the world, ranging from Parts of Asia, Europe, Africa, and the actual Americas in addition to Australia.

  5. Looks great in mustard plant.I just love it your maintenance.Really Amazing and your all collections are adorable.Thank you for this post.
    zarah from

  6. Dear ABC my company Produced and marketing hi quality mustard seed in India so I search new area for marketing or production purpose con no +917534009990
    pawan kumar agrawal

    1. We are looking for mustard seed suplyer for oile production could u send details....

  7. I need two productions districts of mustard in nepal

  8. Hi
    malai pani tori ko tel ko bare ma bhujana cha plz call me plz 9858065125

    1. we are looking for more details - call on +91-98314-56351

  9. Hi
    malai pani tori ko tel ko bare ma bhujana cha plz call me plz 9858065125

  10. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  11. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  12. Hi,

    Your story mustard oil says a lot about good health for human body. Regular consumption of mustard seeds are the most ideal for maintaining the endurance and balancing the weight. Mustard oil is the most recommended one when we talk about a high flavor, tastiest dishes made from organic vegetable, meat. Readers if you love to explore the uniqueness of dishes, spices come through our business portal to see its amazing range of Shalimar cooking oil product for self or retail business.


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  16. Awesome article, thanks for the an informative article. I really look amazed.
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  17. It was a good and a great post very useful. we can also use other natural oils like cold pressed oil in Bangalore gives good result for our health.


  18. Thank you for the nice post and it is very interesting to read. We can also use the other kind of natural oils like Cold Pressed Oil in Chennai for the strong and the healthy life.

  19. Cold pressing is a technique in which the mara check oil is mechanically pressed from the seeds at temperatures not exceeding 120F.

  20. Good sesame oil in tamil has a strong smell when it is opened. The color should be bright brown or gold.

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  22. Virgin coconut oil is the oil extracted from coconuts without the application of heat. It is rapidly gaining popularity throughout the world in comparison to ordinary virgin coconut oil and for a good reason.nallennai in english is also known as gingelly oil. It is highly nourishing, healing and lubricating. Other than being used as a flavor enhancing cooking oil.

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