Mustard is a brilliant condiment and a super food that is with us since thousands of years. It is one of the vital ingredients used in preparing a variety of dishes. Believe it or not, but mustard has been since ages used as a medicinal paste which is made from the seed of the mustard plant. Mustard is commonly known as Rai or Sarson in India. Mustard is very small tiny grains that you get in black or dark brown in colors. It has a spicy, pungent smell and is used in tempering of various Indian curries. They are also used in paste form. Mustard can be used as a whole seed form or ground powder or paste form.
Mustard seeds are obtained from the mustard plant which belongs to the same family as cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cabbage. Tadka is a very popular method of tempering the curries, chutneys, etc and the most common ingredient used in the tadka is mustard seeds. This is widely used to season rasam, dal, chutneys, pachadis etc in southern India combined with few sprigs of curry leaves and chopped green chillies along with a dash of hing.
Types of Mustard seeds Mustard seeds are available in white, yellow, black & brown colors and are derived from three different plants. The black seeds are very pungent, volatile and expensive while the white seeds are much milder but can have the fieriness of the black seeds. The black and brown mustard seeds are widely used in Indian cuisine especially in Bengali and south Asian cooking. When fried, the mustard seeds gives a nutty taste rather than fiery.
Uses of mustard seeds: Mustard seeds are used in numerous ways in Indian cooking. It is widely used in seed form and used in powder form to season/ flavor a variety of pickles. Other uses of mustard seed in paste form includes as a wonderful ingredient to flavour fish curries. When the mustard seeds splutter in oil, it uplifts the pleasant taste of the mustard and removes its bitterness and the essence get engulfed into the pickles, stir fries, curries, roasted meat and vegetables. From a simple appetizer to an elaborate main course, this condiment is one of the most versatile spices you must have in your kitchen. You can make an amazing mustard paste at home by just grinding the raw mustard seeds with little water or vinegar thus giving a sharp spicy flavour. Apart from this Bengali cuisine use mustard oil for cooking a variety of fish curries, dals etc.
Health benefits of Mustard: Mustard is a major source of calcium, iron, omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, manganese and magnesium. Mustard seeds are high in antioxidants, nutrient dense with selenium and known to have anti-inflammatory properties. Mustard is also a natural anti-fungal and antiseptic. Other uses for mustard seed in medicine include relieving congestion when you have a cold or cough etc. Because of its low calorie, pungent and unique flavour, you can happily replace with other fatty, sugary condiments such as mayonnaise, ketchup, sauce or butter. You can also include them in salad dressing, marinades and vinaigrettes.
Do try using mustard and enjoy the enticing flavour that makes the dish unique and zesty to taste. List below are some amazing and mouth-watering recipes made with mustard. Do give it a try as its worth eating.
Shrimp with Mustard Sauce
Rai Wali Bhindi - Awesome Mustard Okra
Chilli Mustard Pickle - Maharasthrian style
Boondi Raita With Mustard
Fish in Mustard Oil - Macher Kalia with Aloo
Prawns Cooked in Mustard Curry Sauce - Chingudi Besara
Dahi Jihinga Curry - Prawns in Mustard Curd Curry
Fish and Chutney in Banana Leaves - PATRA NI MACHI
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