Bengalis are known for their mustard, Kasundi, and this famous Bengali condiment has gained traction all over the world for its punchy taste that explodes in your mouth.
However, have you ever thought about how much you know about Kasundi mustard?. Here are some things I discovered about Kasundi!
What Is Kasundi Mustard?
Kasundi is fermented mustard that contains dried mangoes, Indian plum, or olives. Kasundi is highly pungent and is much sharper in taste than most mustards. Kasundi is an Asian type of mustard and is known as a Bengali dipping sauce. Making Kasundi is a revered process in the Bengali culture and involves many rites and rituals.
How is Kasundi made and is Kasundi only reserved for Bengalis? Keep reading below to learn more!
What Is Kasundi Made Of?
Apart from involving many rituals to make Kasundi, Kasundi mustard usually begins with black and yellow mustard seeds that are washed and drained then sifted after drying.
Next, the seeds are ground into a paste and mixed with other spices, and are continually pounded and mashed for 3 days to remove most of the bitterness of the seeds.
Hot water and salt are then added to the paste, sometimes with green mangoes, olives, or plums, and stored in a pot and left to ferment.
Some families and places have their versions and recipes of Kasundi, but the difference is mostly just in the combination of spices.
Most of the spices mixed in with Kasundi mustard are cloves, cayenne pepper, green and black cardamom, turmeric, dried chilies, and more.
What Does Kasundi Taste Like?
Kasundi is fiery, so the taste is not for the basic person with sensitive taste buds.
Kasundi mustard is pungent and spicy, leaving a burn in the back of the nose and throat that can make your eyes water as wasabi does.
Moreover, the Bengali condiment Kasundi is punchy and potent, being known as a bomb of flavors in the culinary world.
What Is Kasundi Used For?
In its early days, Kasundi was more famous as a chutney in Bengali culture, and Kasundi was served with rice and green chilies, usually as an appetizer to start the meal.
Additionally, Kasundi was also widely used as a pickling paste because Kasundi’s shelf life lasted for at least 20 years if stored properly under the right conditions.
Before Kasundi became popular, Kasundi was strictly served with vegetarian dishes only because any contact of Kasundi with meat was considered a sin.
However, as the world advanced, so did the rules around this Bengali paste.
Now, Kasundi is used in so many dishes like wraps, samosas, meat cutlets, and vegetable marinades. You can also incorporate Kasundi in salad dressings, chutneys, and gravies.
What Are The Types Of Kasundi?
There are many types of Kasundi, and we will talk about 6 of the more popular types of Kasundi in this article.
Jhai Kasundi is plain Kasundi and made from simple ingredients: dry ground mustard seeds, water, salt, and haldi.
Additionally, Jhai Kasundi cannot be made in humid weather, so the weather needs to be perfect to make Jhai Kasundi.
Phool Kasundi is made with the coarse pulp left behind after sieving the mustard seeds, and Phool Kasundi has more chili, turmeric, green mango, and salt to make a grainier and bolder sauce.
Moreover, Phool Kasundi is traditionally used to make Shukto, a Bengali vegetable stew.
Gota Kasundi is dry, being made with powdered spices and dried powder mangoes, which is why Gota Kasundi is used as a spice to incorporate into food for more flavor.
Eggplant Kasundi is made by simmering eggplant with mustard seeds and spices until a thick sauce forms.
Tomato Kasundi, or tomato mustard chutney, is a spicy and savory dipping sauce for fried food and as a spread for grilled meats and sandwiches.
Aam Kasundi or mango Kasundi is a popular Kasundi, and it is made with green shredded mangoes, garlic, mustard seeds, chilies, and salt.
Normally, Aam Kasundi is used to marinate chicken or fish before making curry.
How Is Kasundi Made?
With so many rituals involving this Bengali mustard, it is almost impossible to find a legitimate version of how to make Kasundi.
This process begins in late April to early May, on the day of the Akshaya Tritiya, where people worship the goddess Lakshmi.
Washing the mustard then involved women bathing in odd numbers, facing east, and wearing wet sarees. While washing, the women sang songs of wealth and health and used a man’s dhoti.
Along with the then washed and dried mustard, the women had to offer 5 kinds of fruits and 2 unripe mangoes to the Gods.
After producing the paste from grinding the mustard seeds, the women can only put the paste in the pot after bathing and making themselves clean.
Kasundi mustard from the pot is placed in a safe space in the house of the family and can only be opened on the first day of June to July.
So much of the process in making Kasundi is intricate and strict, that failure to follow the traditional way of making Kasundi can mean that you are not allowed to make Kasundi for the next 12 years.
These traditional steps in making Kasundi were recorded in a book called Stree Achaar, describing in concrete detail every step of making Kasundi.
If you want to find out more interesting facts about mustard, what is karashi mustard, and if mustard is fermented, check out our related articles.
Though very simple in its finished form, the Kasundi mustard is painstakingly hard to make and Kasundi is a quintessential part of Bengali cuisine and is almost inseparable in every home.
Kasundi mustard is one of the prepared mustard varieties that the world has grown to love and is now a big part of the culinary world and its connoisseurs.