Two main types of mustard seeds are used in cooking: black (which have a brownish tone) and white. Black mustard seeds are the most pungent in flavour and taste, and are used in the Indian recipes I write about. White mustard seeds, which are yellow in colour, are used to make yellow mustard.
As with most spices, mustard seeds have been used for thousands of years, both for culinary and medicinal purposes. In India, mustard seeds are an important spice, adding a different sort of heat and aroma to dishes. We usually throw them into a pan of hot oil and wait until they start jumping as they heat up, allowing their flavour to explode and infuse into the hot oil… a flavour and sound that is one of my favourites!