Black Mustard Seeds are reddish-brown to brown-black small round seeds. They are roughly 1½ mm (⅛ inch) in diameter.
Black Mustard Seeds do not have much aroma, perhaps a light nuttiness. The heat comes when liquids are added to the crushed or ground seed, when an enzyme is activated that gives a sharp, bitingly hot taste that seems to cleanse your nasal passages and make your eyes weep. Black mustard seeds are the hottest of the types of mustard and has a forceful flavour, while brown mustard has roughly three-quarters the heat of black mustard.
While brown and black mustard can be used interchangeably, black mustard should really be used in Indian recipes when asked for. In Indian cuisine, black mustard seeds are dry roasted to enhance their flavour.
- Hemphill, I., Hemphill, K. (2014) The Spice and Herb Bible, Robert Rose. ISBN: 9780778804932.
- Norman, J. (2015) Herbs & Spices: The Cook's Reference, DK Publishing. ISBN: 9781465435989.