WHAT IS BLACK MUSTARD SEED?
Black mustard seed (actually a dark brown) is considered to be the spiciest in the mustard plant family. By themselves they’re a popular ingredient in Indian cuisine. However ground they become the classic base for one of the most famous condiments in the world – mustard! Due to their high level of heat, though, they’re often not used by themselves. The more mild yellow mustard seed is preferred. However to add some heat to a mustard recipe add a few black seeds to the mix! If you’re out of mustard at home a popular substitute is fenugreek to simulate that earthy flavor!
WHY IS BLACK MUSTARD SEED GOOD FOR YOU?
In homeopathic remedies it’s often prescribed as a cure for the common cold, arthritis and rheumatism. They’re rich in fiber, iron, zinc, magnesium and carotenes. The antimicrobial properties of mustard seed are so strong that when added to a contaminated hamburger it killed all E Coli present!
WHEN IS BLACK MUSTARD SEED IN SEASON?
This is a cool weather crop that is planted about a month before the final frost of the year. Crops continue to be planted monthly after that as this is a fast growing plant, ready for harvest in about 35 days. In that short period of time the plants can grow up to 6 feet in height.
HOW SHOULD BLACK MUSTARD SEED BE STORED?
Much like with coffee beans, the whole seed keeps fresh longer then when already ground and dried. In both cases, keep sealed in an airtight container (whole 12 months, ground 6 months). Or freeze the dried seed or powder (again in an airtight container) for at 12 to 24 months.