Mustard Seeds

Generally brown, mustard seeds are used quite a bit in Indian cooking. Brown mustard seeds are warming, and impart the pungent taste, according to ayurveda. They are balancing for Kapha and Vata, but increase Pitta dosha. In ayurveda, brown mustard seeds are considered a digestive and good for alleviating stomach discomfort such as gas or cramps.

Take a little ghee and heat it in a pan. When hot, add the mustard seeds. Watch out — they will start "popping" in hot oil or ghee. As soon as the popping begins, remove from heat and pour over the prepared dish. Stir and serve. Mustard seeds sautéed in ghee are wonderful in lentil soups, dhals, Indian-style curries and spiced vegetables. They have a sharp flavor and are aromatic as well.

Brown mustard seeds combine well with other ayurvedic herbs and spices such as ginger, cayenne peppers, turmeric, asafetida (hing) and coriander.