Black Mustard Seed: Substitutes, Benefits, Uses, Recipes

At times you may have to look for black mustard seeds substitute because of their no availability.

Mustard seeds are an essential ingredient in many varieties of cuisines. As a matter of fact, it is popular all over the world.

These tiny seeds are must-have ingredients for cuisines prepared in stir-frying and in pickles.

If you do not have black mustard seeds in your kitchen cabinet then use other alternatives in place of it. You can read the best replacements of black mustard seeds in this article.

What are black mustard seeds?

Botanical scientists have identified over 40 varieties of mustard plants. Among these, only three varieties produce mustard seeds – black mustard, white mustard (also called yellow mustard), and brown mustard.

Black mustard seeds are Brassica nigra. They are tiny seeds with a dark brown or dark reddish hue.

Black mustard is the most preferred ingredient in cooking because of its strong flavor and pungent spicy aroma. Whereas, the white and brown varieties of mustard seeds have mild flavor and aroma.

In Indian cooking, black mustard seeds are often fried in oil and added to the dishes. The fried mustard seeds give out a sweet and nutty aroma flavor.

Curious Fact: Edible paste made of mustard seed with unripe wine was popular among old Sumerians. Ancient Romans ground fresh mustard seed and consumed it mixed with wine or meal.

Benefits of Mustard Seeds

Mustard seeds are an excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids.

It also contains dietary fiber, iron, calcium, magnesium, niacin, and other trace minerals.

Some of the expected health benefits of mustard seeds are:

  • improves metabolism
  • prevents cancer cells growth
  • reduces symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis
  • helps in reducing symptoms of asthma
  • lowers blood pressure
  • improves heart’s health
  • soothes bronchitis, sore throats, and pneumonia

Curious Fact: Some medical studies say that mustard has the potential to treat cancer and heart attacks and, prevent stroke.

What’s a good black mustard seed substitute?

When it comes to mustard seeds, black mustard seeds are the first choice of everyone. It is superior in taste and aroma over the rest.

However, if you don’t have it in your pantry, you have to look for alternative options. Just like the common adage, ‘something is better than nothing.’

Below given are the replacement options for black mustard:

1. Brown mustard seeds

Brown mustard seeds are not bad at all.

It’s true that they have only a mild flavor and aroma in comparison to the black ones. But they also contain all the nutrients found in the black mustard.

In Indian recipes, both brown and black mustards are equally popular. They are mostly oil-fried before adding them into dishes.

Furthermore, toasting or frying the mustard seeds gives them a delicious nutty taste and mouth-watering aroma.

It takes only less than a minute to fry the mustard seeds in clarified butter or oil.

Moreover, brown mustard seeds are equally nutritious and healthy as black ones.

When you use brown mustard seeds instead of black mustard seeds, you need to use a little more quantity to achieve the same level of penchant flavor and aroma.

2. White mustard seeds

White mustard seeds have a very mild flavor and aroma in comparison to black mustard seeds.

In Europe and America, white mustard seeds are more popular than the other two main varieties.

White mustard seeds have colors ranging from beige or yellow to light brown. These seeds can be used whole for pickling or toasted for use in dishes. Traditionally, white mustard seeds’ paste is applied to American hot dogs.

The yellow-colored mustard powder is also used for food coloring like turmeric.

White mustard seeds are an excellent replacement for black mustard seeds. You need to use white mustard in higher quantity if you want to get a flavor of black seeds.

3. Mustard powder

Mustard powder or flour is made by grinding the dehydrated seeds into a fine powder.

White or brown mustard seeds are mostly used for making ground mustard.

The ground mustard seeds permeate their flavor when diluted in oil or water.  It is commonly used as an ingredient in spice-paste used for applying to grilled foods or marinated foods.

Mustard powder is also a prominent ingredient in soups, salad dressing, spice rubs. It works as an acidic ingredient to cut through rich sauces like cheese and macaroni.

Mustard powder is also used for making mustard paste which may also contain other ingredients like sugar, salt, green chili, and water.

Mustard powder is a concentrated form of mustard flavor. For this reason, when you use mustard powder instead of black mustard seeds, use it in less quantity.

Black Mustard Seeds Substitutes

The bottom line

Mustard seeds are one of the essential ingredients in numerous recipes across the world.

Among the different verities of mustard seeds, the black mustard seeds have the strongest flavor and aroma.

The best alternative for black mustard seeds is the other verities of mustard seeds. Mustard powder can also be used as black mustard seeds substitute.

Curious Fact: Some folks in Denmark and India believe that the spreading of mustard seed along the wall sides of the house keeps evil spirits at a safe distance.