Back at it again with a new edition!
This week’s spice of choice: Mustard Seeds otherwise known as rai.
I am going to jump right on into this topic.
In Indian food, we mostly use Black Mustard Seeds which have a spicy, strong and pungent flavor.
There are over 40 different varieties of mustard seeds, the most common being Black Mustard Seeds, White Mustard Seeds and Brown Mustard Seeds.
Like I said before, Black Mustard Seeds “are the most pungent in flavor and taste and are the type of seeds used in Indian recipes. White mustard seeds are not actually white but are yellow in color and are used to make yellow mustard. Brown mustard seeds have an acrid taste and are used to make Dijon mustard.”
Monisha with The Picante Kitchen put together this awesome background piece on Mustard Seeds.
As with most spices mustard seeds have been used for thousands of years both for culinary and medicinal purposes.
Mustard seeds have been used in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and the Mediterranean. Referred to in the New Testament in the parable of the mustard seeds these tiny spheres symbolize the Kingdom of God. However, this is not the first reference to mustard seeds that has been recorded in writing.
Mustard seeds also comes in a Sanskrit writing concerning Buddha in the fifth century BC when a grieving mother takes her dead son to Buddha to bring him back to life.
The ancient Greeks used mustard seeds in cooking but I think it was the Romans who started to grind the seeds into a paste to make mustard as we commonly know it.
In India mustard seeds are known in Hindi as “sarson” and when used in Indian recipes and cooking they are sometimes roasted until they pop. These tiny little black seeds do tend to go all over the place if dropped by accident, as I have done and are quite a bother to pick up.
If you plant mustard seeds they germinate quickly and can grow in hot and colder climates. My memory of school days when we were learning about germination and plant growth, tiny mustard seeds were put into a Tupperware container on top of a damp cotton wool and “viola!” – you have almost immediate sprouting overnight. Though they do tend to stink this is such a great little science project to do with your little ones. The health benefits of mustard seeds are just incredible and there is obviously good reason to add these tiny little seeds to your diet.”
Mustard Seeds have deep routed origins and many health benefits. Although Mustard Seeds are high in calories, they are FULL of quality proteins, essential oils, vitamins, minerals and dietary fibers. Why aren’t we consuming this more?!
Just take a look at the nutritional values Organic Facts listed. “Mustard plant brings an entire gamut of healthful constituents through its various edible parts. Seeds of its plant are rich source of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorous and potassium. Along with this, it is a good source of dietary folate and vitamin A. Mustard greens or leaves of mustard plants are excellent source of essential minerals including potassium, calcium and phosphorous. It is also a good source of magnesium and dietary fiber. Immense wealth of vitamin content offered by mustard greens includes profuse amount of vitamin A and vitamin K with folate and vitamin C also present in descent amounts.”
Health Benefits of Mustard Seeds:
Effective in curing inflammation associated with Psoriasis
Protects form gastrointestinal cancer
Good source of dietary fiber
Helps with Menopause
Decreases symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Helps relieve constipation
Helps protect immune system from colds
Helps cleanse body poisonings such as narcotics and alcohol
Stimulates hair growth
Prevents Asthma attacks
A natural exfoliate
Aids in detoxification
Inhibits the growth of cancer cells
Relieves spasms and muscle pain
Lowers the risk of Heart Disease
Reduces Migraine occurrences
Improves respiration congestion
SO MANY BENEFITS. Incorporating Indian spices into your daily diet is a great way to spice up your food and improve your health, naturally.
LETS ALL GO INDIAN, ALL THE WAY!
Ok, so maybe not alllll the way. Sometimes, even I like to take a break from Indian food and spices, but if you are looking for an easy way to consume the seed, cooking is the most beneficial. That way you don’t even have to think about it! Did I take my pill, essential oil, drink today? We all have to eat at some point.
Usually for this part of the article I provide some type of tea recipe. Today, I am going to switch it up!
Although there are plenty of teas you can make with the seed, just take a look at all the amazing recipes I have with black mustard seeds in them, like here and here . Check out the Eats section for more recipe ideas to incorporate this amazing spice into your daily life.
This is one of my favorite parts of this series. I love how something you usually eat can transcend into other facets of life, like beauty!
Beauty Glimpse says it best “If you savor the spicy smell and flavor of these tiny seeds, it’s time to take notice towards its beauty benefits too. The mustard seeds which had been making your food yummy and lips smacking for years can also help you with a glowing and beautiful skin tone. Sounds strange?? But it’s true. Having many nutritious values, mustard seeds can be used for multiple beauty benefits with ease and effectiveness.
Try this simple, yet effective face scrub by Beauty Glimpse.
- 1 tbsp. mustard seeds
- 2 tbsp. rose water
- 1 tbsp. other essential oil such as lavender
Wash face, neck and hands and remove any makeup.
Application of the Face Mask:
Apply it on your face, neck and hands and massage counter-clockwise to clear out all dead skin properly. Keep mask on for 10-15 minutes, then wash with water and pat dry.
Why is this mask so great?
“ Used widely as a face scrub for its coarse and round structure, these seeds are mixed with different ingredients to make a scrub paste that removes dead skin and dirt properly. Apart from being a good scrub that can be used for skin exfoliation, mustard seed also enhance the hydration system of skin. Mustard seed is rich in Sulphur content which acts as a natural anti-fungal property, thus helping fight against skin infections and rashes effectively. Its lutein and carotene content along with various vitamins makes it a brilliant anti-aging solution also.”
Discussing the mustard seeds has been my favorite spice in this series so far. Most people forgot about these little seeds with big powers! Go out and spread the word, eat up and scrub up!
Until next week, au revoir friends!