Cast aside any thoughts of squeezy yellow sauce – brown mustard seeds are the real deal, and so easy to use. The spiced brown seeds are most often used in Indian or Bengali recipes, but grind them with a splash of water for a potent mustard paste which will give a beef stew a real kick.
Most recipes instruct brown mustard seeds to be crackled in hot oil – either at the start of making a curry, or used as a finishing flavour in tadka daal, when the mustard-flavoured oil and seeds are stirred into lentils just before serving.
Brown mustard seeds are spicier than the yellow mustard seeds which are most often used in European cuisine – in Scandinavian pickling brine and vinaigrettes. Potent brown seeds can be used as a straight substitute though. The flavours are similar, just bigger – but then who ever reached for mustard for subtlety?
Our brown mustard seeds are cultivated in the Himalayan foothills, which has the perfect climate for the quick-growing plants. There is also local expertise which ensures that the seeds are harvested when under ripe, so the seedpods don’t shatter.
Brown mustard seeds should be stored in a dark, airtight container, to prevent them from losing their colour and potency.
In Ayurveda, it’s believed that mustard seeds ease stomach discomfort such as gas or cramps. Grinding the mustard seeds or dry frying not only releases the flavour, but also unlocks the nutritional benefits of the seeds.
ALSO KNOWN AS: Sarson, brassica nigra