Mustard seed is, obviously, the basis of your own homemade gourmet mustard. It also an invaluable addition to many sauces, stews, chutneys, breads and casseroles.
Mustard is usually made with crushed or ground mustard seeds, vinegar, and wine. Honey or sugar are often added for sweetness, herbs and spices to taste. Tarragon is a frequent addition to mustard recipes, as is turmeric, which gives a bright yellow color.
'Mustard' refers to several Brassica species that are valued for their spicy and pungent dried seeds. Native to Eurasia, the species is widely cultivated in Europe and North America.
Black mustard is Brassica nigra, also called Sinapis nigra.
Brown mustard is Brassica juncea, also called Sinapis juncea.
White mustard is Brassica alba, also called Sinapis alba.
The pungency of white mustard (Sinapis alba) is stable, and does not diminish over time, whereas the pungency of black musatard (Sinapis nigra), although initially stronger than that of white mustard, diminishes upon long standing due to hydrolysis. Black mustard seeds, therefore, are used for strong and spicy mustards, and are understood to have a shorter shelf-life than mustard made from white seeds.
Brown or Sarepta mustard (Sinapis juncea) is also called Indian mustard and Russian mustard. Due to the relative ease with which it is mass produced, Brown mustard is the most commonly found Western mustard seed. It furnishes a fine, yellow flour.
Cooking radically alters the pungency of mustard seeds, and gives them a unique flavor found nowhere else. Great mustard seed recipe page: http://homecooking.about.com/library/archive/blspice7.htm.
Lemon and Mustard Seed Chutney
4 medium onions, sliced
5 big lemons, seeded and chopped up
1 ounce salt
1 pint apple cider vinegar
1 ounce mustard seeds
¼ pound seedless raisins
1 scant teaspoon ground allspice
1 pound sugar
1 or 2 cracked black peppercorns
Pinch of cracked coriander (optional)
Sprinkle salt over the onions and lemons and leave for 12 hours. Add remaining ingredients, bring to boil, then simmer on very low fire for about 45 minutes. Put into sterilized jars and seal when cold.
Serve with leftover beef or mutton or ham, or as a side dish to anything curried.
1 pound rhubarb
2 teaspoons coarsely grated fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves
1 or 2 jalapeno peppers, seeds and veins removed
1 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon black mustard seeds
¼ cup dried currants
1 cup light brown sugar
1-½ cups white wine vinegar
Wash the rhubarb and slice it into pieces ¼ inch thick. If the stalks are wide, first cut them into halves or thirds lengthwise. Finely chop the grated ginger with the garlic and jalapenos. Place all the ingredients in a non-corroding pan, bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer until the rhubarb is broken down and is the texture of a jam, about 30 minutes. Stored refrigerated in a glass jar, this chutney will keep several months.
Hot, tart and sweet, this is a condiment to serve with curries or with crackers and cream cheese.
Mustard's stimulating, diaphoretic action can be utilized in the way that cayenne and ginger are. For feverishness, colds, and flu, mustard may be taken as a tea or ground and sprinkled into a bath. An infusion or poultice of mustard will aid in cases of bronchitis.
Grieve's classic 'A Modern Herbal': 'An infusion of the seeds will relieve chronic bronchitis and confirmed rheumatism, and for a relaxed sore throat a gargle of Mustard Seed Tea will be found of service.'
King's 1898 Dispensatory: 'Mustard is an irritant, stimulant, rubefacient, vesicant, and diuretic. It is used in small quantities, internally, as a condiment and mild but efficient excitant of the organs of digestion. In drachm doses, it acts as an emetic, and will thus be found serviceable in cases of gastric torpidity, poisoning by narcotics, to stimulate the stomach, and to aid other emetics in fulfilling their indications.'
'Mustard should be cautiously employed upon young children, as it has, in several recorded instances, induced suppression of the urine or strangury. The volatile oil of mustard is a powerful rubefacient and vesicatory; and, in the dose of 2 drops, several times a day, in some mucilaginous vehicle, it is a good diuretic, useful in dropsy, and has been serviceable in colic. The usual dose, however, of volatile oil of mustard is from 1/12 to ¼ drop. A liniment, composed of 1 part of the oil, dissolved in 16 parts of alcohol, or in 10 parts of olive or almond oil, is a good substitute for a sinapism, though less manageable.'
'White mustard-seed, taken entire, was formerly used as a favorite tonic in dyspepsia, and as a laxative, the seed passing unchanged, and probably acting by mechanical irritation. Dose of mustard, as an emetic, 1, 2, or 3 drachms, with 6 or 8 ounces of warm water (see Charta Sinapis and Cataplasma Sinapis). A prolonged application of a mustard cataplasm causes blistering, with even ulceration and gangrene.'
'A mustard plaster is prepared from equal parts of wheaten or rye flour and lukewarm or cold water, spread upon fabric, and applied with a thin tissue, as of gauze, intervening between the plaster and skin. Its effects should be closely watched, especially in delicate individuals and the old and young.'
American Materia Medica, 1919 (Ellingwood): 'A teaspoonful of mustard in a bowl of warm water will produce active and immediate emesis. This should be followed by another bowl of warm water alone, which will continue the evacuation and wash out any remaining mustard, as even then the burning sensation from the local effects of this substance with a few patients is hard to bear. Emesis must be obtained as soon as possible after the ingestion of the mustard. An emetic dose must not be allowed to remain in the stomach, as inflammation may follow.'
'In the treatment of acute pleuritis a warm poultice applied over the affected side sufficiently large to much more than cover the diseased area, will usually relieve the pain at once, and a large poultice is always more effective than a small one. It may be necessary to repeat its application within twenty-four hours, but if vigorous direct treatment is adopted, this is seldom necessary.'
'In bronchitis or pneumonitis in the initiatory stages, a quick poultice of mustard will exercise a good influence, but it does not give the immediate relief experienced in pleuritis or pneumonitis where acute pain is a prominent symptom. It should be followed, in the former conditions, as soon as the sensitiveness of the skin will allow, by persistent heat, moist or dry, as seems indicated.'
'A most efficient measure in congestive headache, or in headache from any cause with fullness of the cerebral vessels, is a mustard poultice on the nape of the neck.'
'Spinal irritation is most effectively treated by the use of a succession of these poultices. On the first day of the treatment one is applied on the back, across the upper third of the spine; on the second day across the middle third, and on the third day across the lower third, producing thorough sharp counter-irritation but no blistering. On the fourth day it is applied at the top of the spine again and the same course followed as before. This may be continued for two weeks or more if the skin is sufficiently restored in the interim, between the poultices. This course will most materially assist
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