Monday, December 31, 2012

2013 - Happy New Year

Happy New Year 2013

Wishing you all a very happy and prosperous New Year in 2013! 

When I started my blog, "Taste of Nepal" in September 2011, I had no idea it would become an important part of my life. I now have nearly 60 posts and numerous pictures posted on all things about Nepal and its culinary delights. I have truly enjoyed sharing with all of you the flavors, cuisines, cultures, and festivals of Nepal in my blog and I am sure to continue for many years to come. I would like to thank you for your support, feedback, and encouragement. Please drop in to my website occasionally to see what Jyoti has been blogging about.


Which country visited the most?
Please read my Flag Counter to get the details - The most visited are from the USA, Nepal, India, England, and Australia.

Can we use your photo and write-ups of this blog?
Yes, I would be honored if you use my work.  Please refer to my "copyright information" posted in details.

As this year come to an end, I would like to share some of my favorite pictures that I captured when I visited Nepal in 2012.

A Nepali teenager with a modern hairstyle.
A village woman is grinding the whole Maas ko Daal (Urad Beans) to split.  She is using a circular grinding stone (jaato).
Beautiful red hibiscus flower in a traditional Nepali Karuwaa (metal water jar). 
Two youngsters walking through the mustard fields with freshly picked leaves for animal feed.
An elderly villager on his way home from the woods with a bundle of leaves for animal feed.
Ripe Nepali cucumbers for sale at a local market to be used for pickles.
A Nepali holy man with his devoted wife giving me tika (a vermillion paste that is applied on the forehead) and blessing in front of the temple.

The traditional Nepal meal served in a metal plate with several bowls.
Taking picture of historic window, Deshemaru Jhya near Dhoka Tole, Kathmandu.  For more information about this window, please click here....
People waiting in a line to enter the Taleju Bhawani Temple, Kathmandu to obtain blessings and for religious offerings during the auspicious Dashain festival.
A Nepali priest is getting things ready to perform a rituals around Maru Ganesh temple in Kathmandu.
A delightful Tamang lady is happy to show me her Bullacki (traditional earring).  She had more of these when she was a young girl, now only few left. 
An elderly lady from the village has lost her way in the crowded Thamel area, Kathmandu.
For sale - a popular t-shirt catered for tourist
A beautiful girl with her traditional Newari dress on her way to celebrate New Year.
A happy street vendor with Sel-Roti during Tihar, Bhai-Tika time.  She has been working continuously for two days to prepare the most traditional rice-bread of Nepal. 

......admiring her for the love of large tika that is applied in her forehead....
Welcoming visitors with rose petals-filled copper vase in the entrance of a hotel.
Beautiful work of art
A Brahmin priest ready for prayers.  He has a long pony tail (tupee) and a long U shaped sandalwood paste tika applied in his forehead.
A huge antique temple bell near the entrance of the temple.
.... a beautiful child with an innocent look ....
Taking care of grandma's hair.
Garlic bulbs dried in the roof
Fashionable hairdo of a vegetable vendor in Ashon Tole
Gurung lady with several traditional gold earrings
Devotees who have renounced family life telling stories to each other
..... please take a picture of my nose ornaments only,  not my face ....
Saal ko Paat ko Tapari - beautiful work of art for a special occasion
Newari girls with flutes during festival times
Hand-made pure cotton wick  to be soaked in oil for lighting
Butter lamp in front of the temple
Terraced Fields in the outskirts of the Kathmandu valley
Dhaakaa Topi vendor resting in the hot sun
Rice Pulau is being served in a traditional pot (tasala).
Performing group Bratamanda ceremony in Durbar Square area, Kathmandu
A village woman is cleaning rice to remove straw and dirt by using a Nanglo (circular shaped wicker tray).  She wanted me to take her picture with her antique 24 k gold tika in her forehead. happy to pose for me with his beautiful smile.....
...."wait a minute, let me remove my hat - now take another picture".....

Copyright Information

All information on the Taste of Nepal blog are restricted use under copyright law. You may not re-use words, stories, photographs, or other posted material without the explicit written consent and proper credit to Jyoti Pathak. If you would like to use any materials here, please contact me.

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.

Copyright Information

All information on the Taste of Nepal blog are restricted use under copyright law. You may not re-use words, stories, photographs, or other posted material without the explicit written consent and proper credit to Jyoti Pathak. If you would like to use any materials here, please contact me.