Mustard Seeds

Mustard seeds! It's fair to stay that these are highly overlooked in most homecooks spice drawers. Mustard - definitely not overlooked in America...but let's go back to the source! In India, the mustard seed reigns supreme, and it's time to shed some light on how wonderful mustard seeds really are. I'm mostly talking about the black mustard seed, which is an important component of many Indian curries. The best way to get a meal going with a mustard seed, is to let the seeds cook and pop in some oil. When you hear the mustard seeds start to pop (after about 10-15 seconds of cooking over medium-high heat), the mustard seed is breaking open and unleashing its powerful flavor compounds into the oil. Mustard oil is very widely used in North India (in the South, we use more coconut oil than mustard oil, but both have an important place). After cooking the mustard seed, you are left with a mellow mustardy, slightly bitter (bitter is important!) backdrop to your dish, that adds a ton of depth and character. Pop some mustard seeds before adding garlic and ginger in a stir-fry, or quickly toss some white rice with mustard oil, turmeric, a little salt, and lemon. A little goes a LONG way, so usually you won't need more than 1/2 teaspoon to 2 teaspoons of mustard seeds. 

  early girl tomato chutney. 

early girl tomato chutney. 

  carrot steaks + early girl tomato chutney. 

carrot steaks + early girl tomato chutney.