I made some mustard but it turned out bitter.
I saw similar question here but their case was a bit different than mine.

I used only small yellow seeds. Didn't use any dark ones.
Which is supposed to make my mustard mellow.

Here is the recipe I followed :

  • yellow mustard seeds (1½ cup)
  • water (2 cup)
  • vinegar (¼ cup)
  • salt (¾ tbsp)

  ▫ put everything into a mason jar
  ▫ let ferment for a week
  ▫ blend all well

The first thing that didn't go according to recipe was the water absorption. It was supposed to suck up all the liquid and get swoll.
It only buffed a very little. And I'm left with half the jar liquid after a week.

Then, after I blended it,
it had a sour smell, very acidic taste. And of course, very bitter.
It tasted nothing like a mustard.

How do I salvage it?

  • 1
    I don’t know if it would help in this situation, but if you try again, I’ve noticed that a lot of dosa recipes (that rely on wild fermentation) call for a little bit of fenugreek (aka Methi seeds), supposedly to help fermentation. Also your water can mess up fermentation if it’s chlorinated
    – Joe
    Commented Dec 28, 2021 at 9:55
  • @Joe I have fenugreek at my house. I will definitely try it next time. As for the water, the regular water is indeed chlorinated here but I believe I used a the filter tab. The filter helps with the chlorine right?
    – Roo Tenshi
    Commented Dec 29, 2021 at 17:14
  • I don’t do enough fermenting to know for sure if that’s enough. (When I do, I use water that’s been sitting out for a day). You might want to look over the sourdough discussions on here
    – Joe
    Commented Dec 29, 2021 at 17:51
  • @Joe Alright, I will check out that water method. Thanks. What discussion?
    – Roo Tenshi
    Commented Dec 29, 2021 at 18:30

1 Answer 1


I do not think you can salvage anything here, since you already blended everything together. I would guess the mustard seeds are the culprit here - maybe they were too old? The recipes for mustard - particularly this one from seriouseatsI found on the quick follow along the same route (mustard seeds, water, vinegar, salt into a container, let ferment at room temperature, blend), so I think the basic process should work. Your recipe does however have a lot of extra water...maybe the environment was too watered down for fermentation to kick in, and you were left with extra liquid.

I suggest buying fresh mustard seeds and trying again.

  • That might be true. I don't think a lot of people know about mustard seeds where I live. So it probably was sitting around for too long. I also suspected that the water was too much. But I followed measurements according to this recipe. The fermentation did happen. It was giving a constant bubbles and it smells very sour. The environment was cold and humid. Is that bad? Yeah I think fresh seeds would be better but how would I know if it's fresh is the question.
    – Roo Tenshi
    Commented Dec 27, 2021 at 17:30
  • 1
    Joshua Weissman's recipes are usually reliable...You said the ambient temp was cold, then I would suggest a room temperature setting (not in the kitchen near heat sources, but maybe somewhere on a shelf, ideally not totally exposed to sunlight). These "lazy" ferments are typically robust against some factors being not ideal, but it seems in this case a combination of them made the mustard go bad. Do you know when you bought your mustard seeds? Rule of thumb for me is that spices don't really hold well for more than a few months to a year max - they are still edible, but often flavorless.
    – John Doe
    Commented Dec 28, 2021 at 8:12
  • ye tbh i was surprised his recipe didn't work. I will try to find a regular temp next time. I bought it the same day I used it. But it was from a local herb shop. That's why I thought it have been sitting there for ages. I will try to fix these next time. Thank you
    – Roo Tenshi
    Commented Dec 29, 2021 at 17:27

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