A mustard seed is one of the most commonly used ingredients worldwide. It's known for its distinctive, robust and nutty flavor which is widely used in Indian cooking as well.
As far as in Indian cooking, these are used as a seasoning ingredient. Furthermore, nearly 99% of the South Indian recipes have this spice as one of the critical components.
Most of the dishes start or end by tempering the mustard seeds. These are also used in preserving pickles for ages. This is natural, healthy, and no harmful side effects like artificial preservatives.
It looks small, and a spherical ball-sized about 3mm. It may seem small, but it is rich in flavor.
Mustard Seed is the primary ingredient that I store in the best possible reaching space since I use this most adequately. My other essential elements after this are urad dal (white lentils) and cumin.
How to use mustard seeds
- These always crackled in cooking oil before adding to the dish.
- Are you interested in knowing the perfect way seasoning? follow these steps. Firstly, in medium flame, keep a pan and add a teaspoon of cooking oil and half a teaspoon of this spice. Secondly, allow it to crackle. Finally, add it to the dish. The crackling emits a beautiful flavor that enhances the dish.
- Quarter to half a teaspoon of mustard seed is good enough to make a side dish for a serving of four.
- And every family has its recipe for making any dish. In the same way, in our family, we season the dishes at the end of the cooking like seasoning the sambar and the side dishes at the end of the food.
- But to make the recipe easier in one pan, we describe the seasoning at the beginning of the cooking. So, if you have the time or if you intend to make an authentic and traditional South Indian cuisine, I would advise you to add sizzling mustard seeds at the final stage of cooking like in this radish chutney recipe.
If you are looking for non-chemical preservatives for pickles, try attempting with mustard seeds. In India, it is commonly used to preserve food such as pickles and chutneys naturally like this pickle powder.
The ground mustard seeds increase the shelf life without destroying the originality of the other ingredients. Want to see the real Indian pickle of India? Look into the spicy lemon pickle or amla pickle.
The pickle properly made mustard seeds can be stored up to a year even in the kitchen counter. Salt and mustard seeds made it possible to store the pickled vegetables for years even in the tropical Indian climate.
The nutritional and health benefits
- Mustard seeds have anti-inflammatory effects and anti-fungus effects. And it is also believed as a relief for migraines and a unique beneficial element for the skin and hair.
- It is believed to help controlling migraine respiration conditions.
- These are rich in calcium, manganese, omega-3 fatty acids, iron, zinc, protein, and dietary fibers.
The regional names for Mustard seeds
Across the world, it is called in different names. Kadugu in Tamil, Avalu in Telugu, and Rai in Hindi.
The history of mustard seeds
This is believed to be used in Indian cuisine for more than 5,000 years. The literature even mentions as one of the essential ingredients in a human’s life in the period of Buddha.
The substitutions for black mustard seeds
Like any other Indian spices, mustard seeds have unique taste and flavor and cannot be substituted with any closely resembling ingredients. However, in absence of black mustard seeds, it can be swapped within its family-like white mustard or Brown Mustard.
Most of the Indian recipe's tempering is done with mustard seeds. And thus we have listed some here.
Recipes with mustard seeds as tempering
- Coconut chutney, a simple side dish for Idli or dosa
- Radish Sambar, a lentil side dish for rice
- Dosakaya Pappu, a veggie lentil side dish for rice
- Tomato Thokku, a tangy side dish for Idli or dosa
- Cabbage poriyal, Indian cabbage stir fry