About Brown Mustard Seeds
Brown mustard seeds have a bit more bite than their more common yellow counterpart. Other names for brown mustard include Indian mustard, Chinese mustard, or oilseed mustard. Brown mustard seeds have a flavor that is pungent, biting, musty, slightly bitter, with heat that grows within several seconds of tasting.
There are three types of mustard seeds: yellow/white, brown, and black. Yellow mustard is the mildest, yet still has its own very distinct mustard flavor. Brown and black seeds are the hotter, more pungent varieties.
In the U.S., most Americans’ view of mustard is limited to the yellow ballpark kind and maybe an occasional Dijon. However, the rest of the world gives brown mustard a lot more due credit. In Russia, brown mustard is the main species grown to produce mustard oil — used widely in Russian canning, baking, and margarine production. Brown mustard is also used in many African and Asian recipes.
A few prepared mustards you may recognize that rely on brown mustard seeds are Dijon Mustard, Spicy Brown Mustard, Bordeaux Mustard, and German Mustard.
Brown mustard seeds have various (non-condiment related) applications as well: meat rubs, marinades, curries, roasted vegetables, stir fry recipes, sausage blends, and some pungent cheeses.
About the brown mustard plant:
Brown mustard cultivars are divided into subgroups — oilseed mustard (juncea) is the one used to make this spice. Brown mustard is an annual herb that is grown worldwide. It grows between 3-4ft high and has yellow flowers that produce seed pods. Brown mustard seeds are smaller than the yellow seeds of the white mustard plant.