Food and Drink

What Are Mustard Seeds And How They Are Used

Mustard is one of the staple spices across the world. The name mustard came from the French moutarde, Latin most ardent, meaning burning must, which indicates the heat property of the spice. Mustard seeds have an intense flavor with a heating tone, giving the dishes a nutty aroma and taste.

These seeds are primarily used as spice and oil seeds in India, which is one of the largest cultivators of the crop. With this, India is also one of the leading mustard seed exporters in the world. In addition, various mustard seeds originated in the Himalayan region, which is why India has been using these seeds in their cooking.

Below, the article discusses everything about mustard seeds in detail. Find what mustard seeds are, where they originated, what are different varieties and how you can use these tiny balls of zing in your cooking to improve your health.

What are mustard seeds?

Mustard is very tiny seeds growing on the mustard plant. This annual plant is native to North America, North Africa, Southern Europe, India, China, and other parts of the world. The incredible thing about mustard plants is that every part of them can be used, including leaves and flowers. This makes 

The history of mustard dates back to ancient times before 5000 BC. In ancient Egypt, mustard seeds were used as condiments and medicine. Then, it was introduced to the Romans, who used the seeds to cure various ailments and prepared sauces and dips. Another variety of mustards originated in the Himalayan regions. It was domesticated for culinary use around 4000 BC, and its reference can be found in earlier Sanskrit texts.

Now, these seeds are widely grown across the world. However, you can find different mustard seeds cultivated in different parts of the globe. So, let’s deep dive into the world of mustard and know its types and characteristics.

Different Types of mustard seeds

There are over 40 varieties of mustard seeds, but only three are used in culinary use. These three black, brown, and yellow mustard seeds are commonly used as a spice or to prepare various sauces, pickings, and dips.

Yellow mustard seeds

You must have stumbled upon this mustard in grocery stores or supermarkets. However, yellow mustard seeds are more popular in the US, Canada, and European countries. This variety of mustard seeds comes from the Sinapis alba plant. Initially, the seeds are off-white in color and are often processed with turmeric or edible dye to make them bright yellow. Yellow mustards are commonly used to prepare mustard, sauces, pickings, and dips. 

Yellow mustard is the largest, brightest, and mildest among the three. However, there is another variety of yellow mustard, which is an exception to this common one. These mustard seeds are found in Southeast Asia. They are smaller and have a more pungent taste than common yellow mustards.

Black mustard seeds

Black mustard comes from the brassica nigra plant. The color of black mustard seed is not pitch black; rather, it tends to be the darker shade of brown, which appears as black. The seeds are smaller and more pungent in taste compared to yellow seeds.

The seeds are commonly mixed with brown seeds and are generally used as a condiment in Indian dishes. However, black mustard has been used in therapeutic preparations around the world. Many herbal pharmaceutical companies have used these seeds in their medicine. Hence they are leading procurers of seeds from wholesale mustard seed suppliers.

Brown mustard seeds

Brown mustard, grown on a plant called brassica juncea, is the smallest among three varieties. Brown mustard is also known as Indian or Chinese mustard, as it is widely cultivated in both countries. These varieties originated in the Himalayan region and spread across the entire subcontinent and other regions.

Brown mustard seeds are generally more common in India and used as a whole to give cuisines a nutty flavor. They are generally friends in hot oil to bring that flavor out. Moreover, mustard can also be oiled. Mustard oil is also more popular in the Northern regions of India.

What do mustard seeds taste like?

The taste of mustard seeds varies by their type. However, there are basic characteristics that you will find in every variation of the seeds. First, mustard seeds will have a spicy tone. This varies from milder to stronger. For example, Brown mustard seeds have a higher spicy tone, followed by black. And yellow variation falls under a milder category of mustard seeds.

Besides this, mustard also has a sweet flavor. It tastes like horseradish and wasabi. Moreover, split or powdered mustard has a more intense flavor than whole seeds. Whole seeds have so milder taste that sometimes you can’t smell.

How mustard seeds are used

Mustard seeds are generally used in cooking across the world. But, they are also packed with many health-uplifting properties and are used as a medicine in traditional medicinal practices.

Culinary uses of mustard seeds

In cooking, mustard are used in various forms, such as ground, whole, oil, or paste. And their taste and aroma change according to the way they are used. Whole mustard seeds are more commonly used in India. They are tossed in hot oil until they crack. Besides this, mustard oil is also a popular ingredient in cooking.

Mustard paste is more common in the USA and Europe. It is used to prepare mustard, a savory sauce consumed with burgers, hotdogs, and other dishes. Mustard powder can be used alone or blended with other spices to make seasoning.

Therapeutic use of mustard seeds

Mustard seeds are high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Due to its heat, the mustard paste is used as plaster for getting relief from cough and congestion. Moreover, it can also be used as a natural and herbal face pack. It makes your face more hydrated and supple.

Mustard oil can condition your hair and make it softer and shinier. Furthermore, mustard is a common ingredient in traditional medicines; hence, herbal medicine manufacturers are among the top customers of Indian spice suppliers.

Wrapping up

Mustard is a common ingredient in our kitchen, and we all are aware of it. However, mustard is more than just a sauce that flavors our food. Mustard seeds are widely used and grown across the world. And India is one of the prominent cultivators of this crop. The seeds are used in culinary and therapeutic practices. So Hene, stocking this condiment from suppliers of bulk Indian spices online would help you leverage the amazing benefits of the spice.

Read more: Know Coriander leaves, Seeds Coriander Water, and Benefits

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