Cooking with Whole Mustard Seeds
Ground, raw mustard seeds have a sharp, spicy flavor when mixed with liquid. You can make your own mustard by grinding whole mustard seeds into a powder, then mixing it with water or vinegar.
When you use whole mustard seeds in cooking, however, you get a very different flavour profile. Indian cooks usually fry mustard seeds when starting out a dish; this brings out sweeter notes in the mustard seeds' flavour.
To cook with whole mustard seeds, coat the bottom of a heavy pan with a little vegetable oil or ghee (clarified butter). Let the oil get very hot, and then add the mustard seeds. They will quickly start to sputter and pop. Stir the mustard seeds constantly and fry them for about 10 seconds, then remove from the heat immediately. Overcooked mustard seeds develop a bitter, oily taste.
You can now use the mustard seeds in stir-fries and other recipes. For an easy side dish, start with 1 teaspoon fried mustard seeds and add 3 cloves minced garlic to the pan. Cook for 30 seconds, and then add 5 ounces baby spinach and cook until it wilts. Finish with 1-tablespoon rice wine, 1/4-teaspoon rice vinegar and a pinch of salt.
Black Mustard seeds
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