Pure Indian Foods Organic Whole Yellow Mustard Seeds $4.99

Are brown and black mustard seeds different?

Depending on who you ask, including very knowledgeable spice sellers, brown and black mustard seeds are the same. Sandeep of Pure Indian Foods is among those who say they are the same, while other sources claim they are different. Despite minute differences in size and flavor, they’re easily interchangeable in recipes, and at Milk Street we reach for brown mustard seeds when either black or brown are called for.

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We test everything we sell. Here’s how we’d use this.


Use mustard seeds in tarka—a technique to bloom spices in ghee or oil—to add a mild nutty flavor to dishes. Try it in our Indian Lentils with Spiced Oil (Tarka Dal), Cilantro Mashed Potatoes with Turmeric Tarka, Broccolini with Mustard Seeds and Coconut, Shrimp with Chilies and Mustard Seeds, or Shrimp with Mango, Coconut and Mustard Seeds.

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