• Tadka or tempering is a method of seasoning, in which seeds and spices are added to cooking oil heated to almost smoking point. This causes the seeds and spices to crackle, bringing out their full flavour. This tempering is then added to foods as a finishing touch. Mustard seeds, along with cumin seeds, turmeric powder, asafoetida, etc., are commonly used to temper south and north Indian foods.
• A tempering of mustard is indispensable in all south Indian foods, be it a curry, chutney, sambhar or rasam.
• The seeds are dry roasted till they split open, and then added whole or powdered to pickles. When roasting the mustard, beware of overcooking the seeds as they will burn and turn bitter.
• In international cuisine, whole mustard seeds are used in pickling or in boiling vegetables such as cabbage or sauerkraut.
• It is also used as an ingredient in mayonnaise, vinaigrette, marinades and barbecue sauce.
• Mustard seeds are used to prepare salad dressings when combined with vinegar and/or olive oil.
How to store mustard seeds, sarson, rai, sarson ke beej
• Because of its antibacterial properties, whole grain mustard does not require refrigeration; it will not grow mould, mildew or harmful bacteria.
• However, the seeds tend to lose their pungency soon if not stored in a tightly sealed, sterilized container in a cool, dark place.
• If stored under such conditions, whole mustard seeds last for up to a year, while ground and powdered mustard lasts for up to six months.
Health benefits of mustard seeds, sarson, rai, sarson ke beej
The mustard seeds are known to be an excellent source of calcium, magnesium, selenium, potassium and phosphorus. They also contain vitamins like vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin C and folate. The isothiocyanates and other phenol compounds in mustard seeds are known to prevent cancer and also exhibit anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. Mustard seeds are usually consumed in small quantities, often as a tempering. Consuming large amounts of these seeds might cause abdominal discomfort.