Mustard seeds have a rich and spicy flavour and can be used as an alternative to chilli.

In order to get this flavor during cooking. say in a curry, do you need to fine ground the seeds and add them as a powder or can you just add the seeds whole and the boiling will extract this powerful flavour?

  • follow the answer or search for "TADKA" on google and watch video for how its done. – HungryFoodi Nov 19 at 4:46

Typical in Indian cuisine, and I am sure it would work in other preparations, the first step is to heat some ghee or oil and then add brown mustard seed. Now, these will pop, so it is helpful to use a lid on the pan. Once the seeds are finished popping, the lid can be removed and you can continue with additional spices and/or other ingredients. Just be sure not to burn the seeds.

  • Its like prep ritual for almost every Indian food. 'Tadka' of Mustered and Cumin is mandatory. – HungryFoodi Nov 19 at 4:45
  • One comment: be sure the oil is hot before trying this (test with a few seeds first). If you add the seeds too soon, they don't pop – Dhara Nov 19 at 13:05

For a curry I would usually fry in oil as per @moscafj's answer. Another option is to toast them dry on a pan, then cool them and either crack them in a mortar and pestle or grind them into powder. I would do this when if I wanted the mustard as a finishing spice at the end of cooking as adding the whole seed at the end wouldn't give them time to cook.

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