Mustard seeds, sometimes called “pinkmustard” are the tiny round seeds of different mustard plants. The seeds are generally about 1.5 to 2.5 millimeters in diameter and can be brightly colored from pale yellow to dark purple. This vegetable is most cultivated in Southern Africa where it is a traditional crop. The other important place for growing mustards is in China, Japan, and Korea. Some hybrids of mustards are also grown in various parts of the world.
Mustard seeds can be used to make mustard seed oil, mustard seed dip, or mustard seed dressing. The yellow mustard seed is the common variety used for making mustard seed dressing. In this preparation, the seeds are boiled in water, strained out, and allowed to cool, then ground coarsely. The resulting liquid is then filtered to remove the solid residue. Dried yellow mustard seed can be stored for about one month.
Mustard seeds can also be prepared as a condiment for dishes such as sandwiches and omelets. To prepare mustard seed or condiments, mustard seeds are soaked in water for about an hour. Once soaked, the seeds are ground into fine dust by hand before adding to prepared mustards. This preparation makes excellent hot and sour mustard. Dried mustard seed dust can be sprinkled on stews or served on sandwiches instead of the usual pickling spread.
Mustard seeds can also be used to make mustard seed margarine. This popular recipe uses mustard seeds with a hint of brown color to give a hint of sweetness to any dish. Margarine made from brown Indian mustard seeds tastes best when eaten straight from the bottle or mixed with milk. For extra flavor, it can be served as a dipping sauce or eaten as is. The brown, Indian mustard seed can be substituted with white or other kinds of seed oils for this recipe.
Mustard seed can also be mixed with water and squeezed to make juice. The resulting extract is then used as a vegetable juice or used as a seasoning for stews and vegetables. The extract adds a bit of mustard flavor without being too overpowering. Because the seeds are mildly flavored, it is commonly used as a food seasoning but it can be adapted to other uses if desired.
Black mustard seeds can be sifted and combined with water to make a paste. The resulting mixture is then brushed onto food to enhance its flavor. The paste adds a touch of color to a variety of foods. Common uses are: marinades for fish; to spice up cold salads; , and as a topping on burgers and hot dogs. Because of its smoky flavor, black mustard seeds make a great addition to stir fries or stir-fry dishes.
A variety of spices make mustard seeds a versatile spice. They can be combined with other spices to create new combinations that have fresh, intense flavors. For example, the combination of cinnamon, cumin, cloves, cardamom, ginger, nutmeg, and fennel brings out the smoky flavor in whole garlic cloves. This spicy seed mixture can also be added to a chili recipe to give it an intense chili flavor.
Mustard seed is a natural, slow-release plant that is cultivated throughout much of India. It can be found in different parts of the country such as: north, central, eastern, western, and northern parts of the country. The yellow-green seeds are usually ground into powder and stored to be used for cooking, although freshly pressed seed is rare and expensive. Seeds are also readily available at health food stores in most areas of the world. It is also available dried to make pickles, salami, and mustard oil. Many countries have mustard plants, and even areas native to the country have introduced it to others cultures.