12 Recipes Using Mustard Seeds

Cabbage
with mustard seeds

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 small Savoy cabbage, finely shredded
  • 2 tbsp groundnut or corn oil
  • ¼ tsp yellow mustard seeds
  • pinch fenugreek seeds
  • 12 fresh curry leaves
  • 1 dried red chilli, broken, seeds removed
  • 2 small onions, sliced
  • 2cm/¾in fresh ginger, finely shredded
  • ¾ tsp turmeric powder
  • pinch chilli powder
  • 1 tomato, diced

METHOD

  1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Toss in the fenugreek and mustard seeds, curry leaves and the chilli. Lower the heat immediately and add the onions and ginger.
  2. Cover the pan and soften the onions without browning for five minutes. Stir in the turmeric and chilli powder, then add the shredded cabbage and salt.
  3. Cover the pan once more and cook over a gentle heat for about 10 minutes or until the cabbage has softened but retains a bite. Stir in the diced tomato and serve.

Prawns with coconut, chillies
and mustard seeds

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tbsp yellow mustard seeds
  • 4–6 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 250ml/9fl oz coconut milk
  • 250g/9oz fresh or frozen coconut flesh, blitzed in a food processor or grated
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 350g/12oz peeled raw prawns
  • 4 fresh green chillies, with seeds, cut lengthways into sixths
  • handful chopped coriander, to finish

METHOD

  1. Put the mustard seeds into a mini-food processor and add two tablespoons of water. Blend for a minute and then add another two tablespoons of water and continue blending until the seeds start to break up (this can take a minute or two of persistent blending; add more water if you’re having trouble). Keep blending until you have a rough paste that resembles wholegrain mustard, adding a splash more water if needed. Set aside.
  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a heavy-based saucepan or karahi over a low-medium heat. Add the onion and fry for 10 minutes. Add the blended mustard paste, turmeric, coconut milk, grated coconut and salt. Bring to a boil then simmer for 4-5 minutes.
  3. Add the prawns and green chillies and simmer for a further 3-4 minutes, or until the prawns are pink and cooked through. Scatter with coriander and serve.

Chargrilled steak with beer, mustard
and watercress salad

INGREDIENTS

For the mustard

  • 150ml/5fl oz cider vinegar
  • 5 tbsp caster sugar
  • 60g/2½oz yellow mustard seeds
  • 25g/1oz brown mustard seeds
  • 2 tbsp English mustard powder
  • 110ml/4fl oz beer

For the steak

  • 2 x 250g/9oz ribeye steaks
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the salad

  • ½ small wholegrain loaf, cut into 1.5cm/3in cubes
  • 2 tsp cider vinegar
  • 1½ tbsp rapeseed oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bunch watercress, leaves only

METHOD

  1. For the homemade beer mustard, place the vinegar and sugar into a non-reactive pan and bring to a simmer. Add the yellow and brown mustard seeds and the mustard powder and stir well. Simmer over a high heat for three minutes, until the volume of liquid has reduced by half and the seeds have softened slightly.
  2. Pour the mustard mixture into the bowl of a food processor and blend to a purée. It will take a few minutes for the seeds to break down and the mustard to become creamy.
  3. Add the beer to the mustard mixture and blend once more. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Use immediately or spoon into jars, seal and store in the refrigerator. (NB This recipe makes more mustard than required for the dish.)
  4. For the steak, heat a griddle pan until hot. Rub the steaks with one tablespoon of the olive oil, then season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  5. Place the steaks onto the hot griddle and cook without moving for 1-2 minutes, then turn 90 degrees with tongs and cook for a further minute, to give the steaks a lattice pattern of griddle marks. Turn the steaks over and repeat the process on the other side. Remove the steaks from the pan and place onto a plate to rest; keep warm.
  6. Meanwhile, for the salad, heat the remaining oil in a frying pan, add the bread cubes and fry for 2-3 minutes, turning occasionally, until crisp and golden-brown. Remove the croûtons with a slotted spoon, drain onto kitchen paper and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  7. Place one teaspoon of the homemade mustard into a large bowl. Add the cider vinegar, whisk in the rapeseed oil and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add the croutons and watercress and mix well.
  8. To serve, cut the steaks into thick slices and spoon the mustard into 2 small pots. Pile the salad onto the centre of each plate. Lay the steak over the salad and serve with a mustard pot on the side.

Bombay
potatoes

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 tbsp oil
  • ¼ tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 pinches of chilli powder
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • 350g/12oz potatoes, boiled and quartered
  • salt to taste

METHOD

  1. Heat the oil in a pan on a medium heat setting.
  2. To check that the oil is hot enough, sprinkle in a few mustard seeds, if they pop the oil is ready. Then add the remainder of the mustard seeds.
  3. Add the chilli and turmeric powders to the sizzling seeds, and salt to taste.
  4. Fry this pungent mixture of oil and spices for 1 minute then add the potatoes. Fry for about 4 minutes until the potatoes are smothered in seeds and appear to have crispy edges. They will look quite yellow in colour. Cover the pan and on a low heat, cook the potatoes for a further 5 minutes.
  5. Serve immediately.

Lamb madras
with Bombay potatoes

INGREDIENTS

For the Lamb Madras

  • 1 x 2.5kg/5½lb shoulder of lamb
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tbsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 5 cloves
  • 1 tbsp ground turmeric
  • 1 green bird’s-eye chilli
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1½cm/¾in root ginger, peeled
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 12 curry leaves
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 400g/14oz chopped tomatoes
  • 200ml/7fl oz beef stock
  • 2 tsp tamarind paste
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Bombay potatoes

  • 500g/1lb 2oz potatoes, cut into 2cm/1in cubes
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • ¼ tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tbsp fresh coriander, roughly chopped

METHOD

  1. For the roast shoulder of lamb, preheat the oven to 170C/Fan 150C/Gas 3. Rub the lamb all over with the olive oil, then season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, to make the curry powder, put the coriander, fenugreek, mustard, cumin, fennel seeds, black peppercorns, cinnamon and cloves in a spice grinder and grind to a powder. Stir in the turmeric.
  3. Put the chilli, garlic and ginger in a small food processor and blend until a paste if formed. If it does not come together add a small amount of water.
  4. Heat the vegetable oil in a casserole pot with a lid. Add the lamb and fry on all sides, until browned. Remove the lamb from the casserole and set aside. Add the onion to the hot casserole and fry until soft and starting to colour. Add 2½ tbsp of the curry powder, then the garlic, chilli and ginger paste and the curry leaves, cardamom and bay leaves and stir.
  5. Add the lamb back into the pot, cover with the tomatoes, stock and tamarind and season with salt and pepper. Place a lid on and bake the lamb for 3-4 hours, basting every hour or so with the juices in the roasting tray, until the meat is very tender and falling off the bone.
  6. Remove the lamb and simmer the liquid until it reduces to make a thick sauce. Using a fork, shred the lamb and add it back to the sauce.
  7. For the Bombay potatoes, place the potatoes in cold water and bring to the boil. Cook for 5-8 minutes and drain.
  8. Heat a large pan and add the oil. Once hot, add the mustard seeds. When they start popping, add the chilli powder and turmeric, then the potatoes. Take care of your eyes and face while the mustard seeds are popping. Cook for 5-8 minutes, or until the potatoes absorb the spices.
  9. To serve, place the lamb Madras on a serving plate with the potatoes . Garnish with chopped coriander.

Pork
Vindaloo

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 5 black peppercorns, left whole
  • 2 green cardamom pods, seeds only
  • 2 cloves
  • 1cm/½in piece cinnamon
  • 1cm/½in piece ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 7 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
  • 3 fresh red chillies
  • 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • pinch salt
  • 350g/12oz pork shoulder, flesh cut into 2.5cm/1in cubes
  • 100g/3½oz pork belly, cut into 2.5cm/1in pieces
  • 65ml/2½fl oz vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • ¾ tsp mustard seeds
  • handful cashew nuts

To serve (optional)

  • 220g/8oz basmati rice, cooked according to packet instructions
  • 4 wheat tortillas
  • 2 handfuls chopped lettuce
  • 4 tbsp soured cream

METHOD

  1. Using a spice grinder, grind the cumin seeds, coriander seeds, peppercorns, cardamom seeds, cloves and cinnamon to a fine powder.
  2. In a food processor, blend the ginger, garlic, chillies and white wine vinegar to a paste.
  3. Mix the ground spice mixture with the paste until well combined and season with a pinch of salt. Rub the mixture all over the pork using your fingers, then set the pork aside, covered, to marinate for 1½-2 hours.
  4. Heat four tablespoons of the oil in a non-stick pan. When the oil is hot, add the onion and fry for 3-4 minutes, or until golden-brown.
  5. Add the marinated pork pieces and fry for 6-7 minutes, turning once, until golden-brown on all sides. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan with a lid and cook for 35-40 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the pork is tender. Add small splashes of boiling water to the pan as necessary if the juices in the pan dry out. Add as little water as possible as the resulting sauce should be quite thick.
  6. Heat the remaining teaspoon of oil in a separate pan over a medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds. (CAUTION: the mustard seeds will start to pop. Keep the pan well away from your face and eyes.)
  7. Once the mustard seeds start to pop, add the cashew nuts and fry for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the nuts are golden-brown.
  8. To serve, either divide the rice among four serving plates, spoon the vindaloo alongside and pour the fried cashew nuts and mustard seeds over the vindaloo, or alternatively spoon the vindaloo into the centre of four wheat tortillas, sprinkle with chopped lettuce and soured cream and roll up into parcels.

Pilau
rice

INGREDIENTS

  • ½ tsp coriander seeds
  • 6 cardamom pods
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 8 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 75g/2½oz butter
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp black mustard seeds
  • 300g/10½oz basmati rice, rinsed and drained
  • 500ml/18fl oz chicken or vegetable stock, fresh or made from 1 stock cube
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

METHOD

  1. Using a pestle and mortar, pound the coriander seeds into a coarse powder. Add the cardamom pods and grind until the husks split and the seeds are lightly crushed. Add the cumin, cloves, cinnamon and bay and pound very lightly for a few seconds, to mix.
  2. Melt half the butter in a sauté pan or wide-based saucepan over a medium heat. Fry the onion and garlic for 5 minutes, or until softened, stirring regularly. Sprinkle in the turmeric and mustard seeds, plus all the ingredients from the pestle and mortar. Fry gently for 2 minutes, stirring.
  3. Mix in the rice to coat it in the buttery spices. Add the stock and a good pinch of black pepper. Add a pinch of salt if needed (stock from a cube will already contain salt). Stir well and bring to the boil. Give a final stir then cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid. Reduce the heat to its lowest setting and cook for 15 minutes.
  4. When the rice is cooked, cut the rest of the butter into small pieces. Remove the pan lid and dot the butter over the hot rice. Leave to melt for a few seconds, then quickly fluff up the rice using a fork, taking care not to break up the grains.
  5. Replace the lid and leave to stand for 5 minutes before serving. (Warn your guests not to eat the cardamom, cinnamon or any whole cloves.)

Chicken, avocado and bacon
salad

INGREDIENTS

For the yoghurt and tarragon dressing

  • 300ml/10fl oz natural yoghurt
  • ½ lemon, juice only
  • 1 tbsp chopped tarragon leaves
  • 2 small spring onions, finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 2 tsp white wine vinegar
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the salad

  • 1 cooked chicken, skin removed, and meat sliced into pieces
  • 6 rashers smoked streaky bacon
  • 2 Little Gem, leaves separated
  • 50g/1¾oz rocket
  • 2 small avocados, sliced
  • 25g/1oz pumpkin seeds, toasted
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp yellow mustard seed

METHOD

  1. To make the yoghurt and tarragon dressing, measure all of the ingredients into a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Add the cooked chicken to the dressing and coat in the mixture. Cover and leave to marinate in the fridge for 2 hours, or overnight.
  2. Cook the bacon under the grill or in a pan until crisp and golden-brown. Set aside on a piece of kitchen paper. Once cold, snip into little pieces.
  3. Arrange two or three lettuce leaves closely together to make a cup shape on a large platter. Top with some rocket leaves. Repeat, so that you have six cups of lettuce arranged in a circle to look like a wreath.
  4. Spoon the chicken salad on top. Arrange the avocado on top of the chicken. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds and bacon pieces. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Vegan potato cake
with chickpea curry

INGREDIENTS

  • 500g/1lb 2oz cooked chickpeas, cooking liquor reserved, or 2 x 400g tins of chickpeas, drained
  • 50ml/2fl oz vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp yellow mustard seeds
  • pinch salt
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 75g/2½oz piece root ginger, peeled and shredded
  • 5 ripe tomatoes, cut into chunks
  • small bunch curry leaves
  • small handful coriander leaves

For the potato cakes

  • 3 baked potatoes
  • 1 tbsp plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 4 tsp garam masala
  • 2 red chillies, seeds removed and finely diced
  • small handful coriander, chopped
  • flour, for shaping
  • vegetable oil, for frying

METHOD

  1. To make the spiced chickpeas, drain the chickpeas, reserving the cooking liquor.
  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a saucepan until hot then add the mustard seeds and salt and cook for a minute or so until the mustard seeds start to pop. Add the chili powder, ginger, chickpeas, tomatoes and a good handful of curry leaves. Cook until the tomatoes start to break down. Add 200ml/7fl oz of the reserved cooking liquor from the chickpeas (or water if using tinned chickpeas). Allow to cook, topping up with more cooking liquor or water if it becomes too dry.
  3. For the potato cakes, remove the potato flesh from their skins. Allow to cool a little (if hot). Put two thirds of the potato flesh into one bowl and the other third into another bowl. Add the flour to the larger amount. To the smaller amount add the salt, garam masala, red chilli and coriander leaves. Mix both well.
  4. Divide the flour and potato mix into 110g/4oz balls and flatten out into rounds using floured hands. Squeeze the seasoned mix together and make into 55g/2oz balls. Place a ball into the center of each flattened round of potato and wrap around so that the ball is encased completely.
  5. In a large frying pan, heat the vegetable oil until hot. Shallow fry the potato cakes on all sides until brown and crisp. Drain on kitchen paper.
  6. Finish the chickpeas with some coriander and curry leaves. Serve with the potato cakes.

RECIPE TIPS

If using dried chickpeas, they should be soaked overnight in water, drained, covered with fresh water and cooked for two hours until tender then cooled in their cooking liquor.

BBQ chicken
with coleslaw

INGREDIENTS

  • 100ml/3½fl oz cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • ½ tsp sea salt and black pepper
  • 4 boneless chicken thighs, skin on

For the coleslaw

  • ½ small red cabbage, finely sliced
  • 2 carrots, coarsely grated
  • 1 small/½ large red onion, finely sliced
  • 8 radishes, sliced
  • 3 spring onions, very finely sliced
  • 2 limes, juice only
  • 2 tsp black onion seeds
  • 1 tbsp sunflower seeds
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • small bunch fresh coriander, finely chopped
  • small bunch fresh mint, finely chopped
  • I tsp mustard seeds

METHOD

  1. To make the glaze for the chicken, combine the vinegar with 100ml/3½fl oz water in a saucepan. Add the sugar, smoked paprika, mustard and soy sauce. Stir to combine then bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, or until thickened. Remove from the heat and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  2. Meanwhile, add the ingredients for the coleslaw to a large bowl, toss to combine and season to taste.
  3. Heat a griddle pan over a high heat until smoking hot. Open the chicken thighs out and season with salt and pepper. Place the chicken skin-side down on the griddle and fry for 3-4 minutes.
  4. Brush the chicken with a little glaze then turn and cook for a further 3-4 minutes, brushing occasionally with the glaze as you cook. Turn off the heat and rest for five minutes.
  5. Slice thickly and serve with the coleslaw. Drizzle with any sticky cooking juices before serving.

RECIPE TIPS

This dish would also work really well on the barbecue. Brush the chicken with the sauce as it cooks, making sure you turn the meat frequently to prevent it from burning.

Indian
fish curry

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • ½ tsp yellow mustard seeds
  • 4 cloves
  • 6 green cardamom pods, lightly crushed
  • 1 large piece cinnamon stick
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 5cm/2in piece fresh ginger, peeled and quartered
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 300ml/10½fl oz coconut milk
  • 2-4 green chillies, left whole
  • salt, to taste
  • 100ml/3½fl oz water
  • 10 curry leaves (available from some supermarkets and Asian grocers)
  • ½-1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ¾ tsp garam masala
  • 500g/1lb 2oz salmon or firm white fish fillets, cut into large pieces

To serve

  • 2-3 tsp lemon juice
  • 50g/2oz fresh coriander leaves and stalks, chopped

METHOD

  1. Heat the oil in a non-stick pan, add the mustard seeds, cloves, cardamom pods and cinnamon stick and stir fry for 20 seconds (be careful, the seeds might pop). Add half of the chopped onion and fry for 4–5 minutes until soft.
  2. Meanwhile, place the remaining onion, the ginger, garlic, ground coriander and 100ml/3½fl oz of the coconut milk into a blender or food processor and blend to a smooth purée.
  3. Add this mixture to pan along with the whole green chillies and salt, to taste. Cover with a lid and cook over a low heat for 12–15 minutes, giving the pot an occasional stir.
  4. Add the remaining coconut milk, the water, the curry leaves, black pepper and garam masala and the fish and leave to cook undisturbed for about 3–5 minutes, until the fish is opaque and cooked through.
  5. To serve, stir in the lemon juice and coriander. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary, then pour into bowls and serve with rice.

Cumin
roast vegetables

INGREDIENTS

  • 600g/1lb 5oz potatoes, preferably Maris Piper
  • 1 tsp yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 medium red onion, halved and cut into thin wedges
  • 1 yellow pepper, deseeded and cut into 4cm/1½in chunks
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into 4cm/1½in chunks
  • 1 orange pepper, deseeded and cut into 4cm/1½in chunks
  • 2 medium courgettes, cut into 1cm/½in slices
  • freshly ground black pepper

METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to 190C/400F/Gas 6. Half-fill a medium saucepan with water and bring to the boil. Peel the potatoes, cut them into quarters and lower them carefully into the water. Bring the water back to the boil and cook for five minutes – just enough to parboil them.
  2. While the potatoes are boiling, place a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and add the mustard and cumin seeds. Toast for about 30 seconds, then stir in the oil, garam masala and turmeric. Sizzle for a few seconds and add the onion.
  3. Fry the onion in the spices for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Drain the potatoes in a large colander and toss several times to roughen up the surface of each potato.
  5. Tip the potatoes into the pan with the onion and spices, season with a few twists of ground black pepper and toss together until the potatoes are lightly coated.
  6. Tip everything onto a large baking tray and roast for 30 minutes.
  7. Take the tray out of the oven and add the peppers and courgettes.
  8. Toss lightly together and return to the oven for another 25–30 minutes until the potatoes are crisp and golden-brown and the vegetables have softened.

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