Mustard Seed


Mustard seeds are an important spice in many regional cuisines, they are about 2 mm in diameter and it can be of yellowish white to black in color. The seeds can also be pressed for mustard seed oil, a popular massage oil in winter as it helps keep the body warm.

They are popular in North Indian cuisine.


Other names: Sarson, సరసావాలు, শরষে Shorshe, ఆవాలు, सरसो
Translations: Sinepju sēklas, Garstyčių sėklos, Muştar, Gorušičino, Nasiona gorczycy, Sennep Seed, Горчичном зерне, Σπόρου μουστάρδας, بذور الخردل, 겨자 종자, Hořčičné semeno, Buto ng mustasa, 芥菜籽, Llavor de mostassa, Gorčično seme, Horčičné semeno, חרדל זרע, Горушичино, マスタードシード, Sennep Seed, सरसों के बीज, Semilla de mostaza, Гірчичне зерня, Sinapinsiemenet, Синапено семе

Physical Description

Mustard seeds of the various mustard plants are among the smallest of seeds. The seeds are about 3mm in diameter, and may be colored from yellowish white to black. They are important spices in many regional cuisines.Mustard seeds are from the mustard plant, which is a cruciferous vegetable related to broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cabbage.

Selecting and Buying

Choosing: Just like with other dried spices, try to select organically grown mustard seeds or powder since this will give you more assurance that the herbs have not been irradiated.
Mustard powder and mustard seeds should be kept in a tightly sealed container in a cool, dark and dry place. Prepared mustard and mustard oil should both be refrigerated.

Buying: Even through dried herbs and spices are widely available in supermarkets, explore the local spice stores in your area. Oftentimes, these stores feature an expansive selection of dried herbs and spices that are of superior quality and freshness compared to those offered in regular markets.
Procuring: Mustard seeds generally take a three to ten days to germinate if placed under the proper conditions, which include a cold atmosphere and relatively moist soil. Mature mustard plants grow into shrubs.

Conserving and Storing

Mustard grows well in temperate regions. Major producers of mustard seeds include Canada (90%), Hungary, Great Britain, India, Pakistan and the United States. Brown and black mustard seeds return higher yields than their yellow counterparts.[


Gautama Buddha told the story of the grieving mother (Kisa Gotami) and the mustard seed. When a mother loses her only son, she takes his body to the Buddha to find a cure. The Buddha asks her to bring a handful of mustard seeds from a family that has never lost a child, husband, parent or friend. When the mother is unable to find such a house in her village, she realizes that death is common to all, and she cannot be selfish in her grief.

The Buddha also stated that if an individual were to pick a single mustard seed,every hundred years from a 7mile cube worth of mustard seeds, then by the time the last seed is picked, the age of the world cycle would still continue.

History: Mustard seeds can be traced to different areas of Europe and Asia with the white variety originating in the eastern Mediterranean regions, the brown from the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains, and the black from the Middle East. Mustard seeds are mentioned in ancient Sanskrit writings dating back about 5,000 years ago.



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