Taste (Rasa): Pungent
Energetics (Virya): Warming
Doshic Effects: Pacifying for Vata and Kapha
Benefits & Use: Mustard seeds come from the mustard plant, a member of the cabbage family. These plants thrive in temperate climates and are native to areas of Europe and Asia. The plant has forty different varieties, but three have become commonly used. White mustard seeds, which are actually yellow in color, have the mildest taste and are the source of most yellow and grain mustard commonly used in the States. However, its the black (or brown) mustard seeds that are widely used in Indian cooking.
Mustard is an excellent source of antioxidants. Its high content of selenium and magnesium give it anti-inflammatory benefits, excellent for rheumatic arthritis and chronic inflammation in the digestive system. A small amount — as little as a teaspoon — packs a powerful nutritional boost, providing both omega 3 and omega 6-fatty acids, as well as potassium, calcium and phosphorus, which make this seed excellent for healing such common ailments as a cold, flu and headaches. In addition, one of its traditional uses is in an external healing poultice applied to aid against pneumonia, bronchitis, rheumatism, sciatica, gout, aching muscles and joint pain. In larger quantities, it has been used as a purgative to induce vomiting in case of accidental poisoning.
Additional Uses: Natural skin exfoliant; hydration (when combined with aloe vera gel); hair growth; odor remover
In the Kitchen: Dried mustard does not have a highly pungent taste on its own, the characteristic sharpness of mustard comes from an enzymatic process initiated when the powder mixes with water. Hot rather than cool water, or the addition of an acidic substance, such as vinegar, moderates this sharp flavor.
- 1/4 cup organic yogurt
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon roasted cumin powder
- mint leaves
- coriander leaves
- chopped ginger
- salt to taste
- green chilies (optional)
- Add yogurt, water, and roasted cumin powder to a mixing bowl.
- With a hand blender, mix the ingredients
- Add in salt to taste.
- Pour into a glass and garnish with coriander leaves, mint leaves, chopped ginger.