Black Mustard Seed: Substitutes, Benefits, And Uses

Sometimes, you may have to look for black mustard seed substitutes because of their lack of availability.

Mustard seeds are an essential ingredient in many varieties of cuisine. It is popular all over the world.

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

If you do not have black mustard seeds in your kitchen cabinet, use other alternatives instead of them. You can read about the best replacements for black mustard 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.

These tiny black 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. At the same time, the white and brown varieties of mustard seeds have a mild flavor and aroma.

Similarly, wooden cold-pressed mustard oil is versatile and can be used in various Indian dishes.

In Indian cooking, black mustard is often fried in oil and added to dishes. The fried mustard seeds give off a sweet and nutty aroma.

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 oil and seeds are:

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

Best Substitutes For Black Mustard Seeds

When it comes to mustard seeds, black mustard grains are everyone’severyone’s first choice. It is superior in taste and aroma to the rest.

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

Below are the replacement options for black mustard:

1. Brown mustard seeds

Brown mustard seeds have a mild flavor and aroma compared to black ones. But they also contain all the nutrients found in black mustard.

In Indian recipes, both brown and black mustards are equally popular. They are mostly oil-fried before being added to dishes.

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

Fry the mustard seeds in clarified butter or oil takes less than a minute.

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

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

2. White mustard seeds

White mustard seeds have a mild flavor and aroma compared to black mustard grains.

White mustard seeds are more popular in Europe and America 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 in dishes. Traditionally, white mustard seed 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 quantities to get the 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 impart their flavor when diluted in oil or water. It is commonly used as an ingredient in spice paste for grilled or marinated foods.

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

Mustard powder is also used to make the mustard paste, which may 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, use it in less quantity.

Related article: Substitute For Dry Mustard

Black Mustard Seeds Substitutes

Frequently Asked Questions 

Can I use prepared mustard as a substitute for mustard seeds? 

Prepared mustard can be used as a substitute for mustard seeds and sauce in some recipes, but it may not work well in others. They have similar flavors but differ in texture so the result may differ slightly. Also, note that prepared mustard is more concentrated than mustard seeds, so you may need to adjust the amount you use accordingly. Use one tablespoon of prepared mustard for every teaspoon of mustard seeds your recipe calls for.

Can I use caraway seeds in place of black mustard seeds? 

Caraway seeds have a distinct flavor quite different from black mustard seeds’ savory and spicy flavor. Using them interchangeably can result in a different taste profile for your dish. Cumin seeds are a better substitute for mustard seeds than caraway seeds.

Can I use yellow mustard seeds as a replacement for black mustard seeds? 

You can swap out other types of mustard seeds for yellow mustard seeds. But they have a milder taste and aroma than black mustard. Yellow mustard seeds have a more subtle flavor and add a yellow color to the recipe. When substituting, you may need to use a larger quantity to achieve the same level of spiciness as the black variety.

Final Thought

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

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

The best alternatives to black mustard seeds are the other varieties of mustard seeds. Mustard powder can also be used as a substitute for black mustard seeds.

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