Mustard seed

mustard seed, yellow
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 1,964 kJ (469 kcal)
34.94 g
Sugars 6.89 g
Dietary fiber 14.7 g
28.76 g
Saturated 1.46 g
Monounsaturated 19.83 g
Polyunsaturated 5.39 g
24.94 g
Vitamin A equiv.

3 μg

Thiamine (B1)

0.543 mg

Riboflavin (B2)

0.381 mg

Niacin (B3)

7.890 mg

Vitamin B6

0.43 mg

Folate (B9)

76 μg

Vitamin B12

0 μg

Vitamin C

3 mg

Vitamin E

2.89 mg

Vitamin K

5.4 μg


521 mg


9.98 mg


298 mg


841 mg


682 mg


5 mg


5.7 mg

Other constituents
Water 6.86 g
Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database

Mustard seeds are the small round seeds of various mustard plants. The seeds are usually about 1 to 2 millimetres (0.039 to 0.079 in) in diameter and may be colored from yellowish white to black. They are important spice in many regional foods and may come from one of three different plants: black mustard (Brassica nigra), brown Indian mustard (B. juncea), or white mustard (B. hirta/Sinapis alba).

Grinding and mixing the seeds with water, vinegar, or other liquids, creates the yellow condiment known as prepared mustard.

An archaic name for the seed is eye of newt. Often misunderstood for an actual eye of a newt, this name has been popularly associated with witchcraft ever since it was mentioned as an ingredient to a witch's brew in Shakespeare's famous play Macbeth.[1][2]

Regional usage

Raai (Gujarati), Mohari (Marathi: मोहरी ), aavalu (Telugu: ఆవాలు), kadugu (Tamil: கடுகு), or sasive (Kannada:ಸಾಸಿವೆ), kadugu (Malayalam: കടുക്) variety of Indian pickle consisting mainly of mangoes, red chilli powder, and aavaa pindi (powdered mustard seed) preserved in mustard oil, is popular in southern India with its origin in Andhra Pradesh.

These mustard seeds are known in Hindi/Urdu as sarson (Indian colza, Brassica rapa subsp. trilocularis, syn. Brassica campestris var. sarson),[3] in Bengali as shorshe and in Punjabi as sarson. These are used as a spice in Northern India and Nepal. The seeds are usually roasted until they pop. They are also planted to grow saag (greens) which are stir-fried and eaten as a vegetable preparation, sarson ka saag (sarron da saag in Punjabi).

In Maharashtra, it is called as mohair, and is used frequently in Maharani's recipes. Sarson ka tel (mustard oil) is used for body massage during extreme winters, as it is assumed to keep the body warm. In Bengali cuisine mustard oil or shorsher tel is the predominant cooking medium. Mustard seeds are also essential ingredients in spicy fish dishes like jhaal and paturi.


Mustard seeds generally take three to ten days to germinate if placed under the proper conditions, which include a cold atmosphere and relatively moist soil. Mature mustard plants grow into shrubs.

Mustard grows well in temperate regions. Major producers of mustard seeds include Canada, Nepal, Hungary, Great Britain, Pakistan and the United States. Brown and black mustard seeds return higher yields than their yellow counterparts.[4]

In Pakistan, rapeseed-mustard is the second most important source of oil, after cotton. It is cultivated over an area of 307,000 hectares with annual production of 233,000 tonnes and contributes about 17% to the domestic production of edible oil.

Mustard seeds are a rich source of oil and protein. The seed has oil as high as 46-48%, and whole seed meal has 43.6% protein.


Top 10 mustard seed producers in 2015
Country Production (tonnes) Footnote
 Canada 154,500
   Nepal 142,920
 Myanmar 91,000 *
 Russia 54,682
 Ukraine 30,170
 China 17,000 F
 United States 16,660
 France 14,000 F
 Czech Republic 13,378
 Germany 10,500 F
World 571,880 A
* = Unofficial figure | [ ] = Official data | A = May include official, semi-official or estimated data
F = FAO estimate | Im = FAO data based on imputation methodology | M = Data not available
Source: UN Food & Agriculture Organisation (FAO)[5]

Religious significance

In the Bible Jesus tells the Parable of the Mustard Seed referring to faith and the Kingdom of God. There, Jesus says that the kingdom of God "is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest of all seeds on earth. Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds can perch in its shade."[6]

This story is recounted referring to faith in Luke 17:6-10 and Matthew 17:20. With reference to the Kingdom of Heaven it is mentioned in Luke 13:21 and Matthew 13:19. This parable referred to having a "mustard seed" type faith to someone that needs to have just enough faith to believe that anything is possible. As Jesus referred to a young man that was a "lunatic" (demon possessed) and had many sores on his body, he let the disciple's know the young boy couldn't be delivered from demons because they had no faith. They boy's father came to the disciples for healing of his son and they couldn't heal him for lack of faith. Jesus let them to know that all one needs is just a little faith and nothing is impossible. This Scripture is to remind those that are followers of Christ that it's through their faith they can heal, cast out and pray for others.

The earliest reference to mustard is in India from a story of Gautama Buddha in the fifth century BC. Gautama Buddha told the story of the grieving mother (Kisa Gotami) and the mustard seed. When a mother loses her only son, she takes his body to the Buddha to find a cure. The Buddha asks her to bring a handful of mustard seeds from a family that has never lost a child, husband, parent, or friend. When the mother is unable to find such a house in her village, she realizes death is common to all, and she cannot be selfish in her grief.[7][8] The Buddha stated that if an individual were to pick a single mustard seed every hundred years from a seven-mile cube worth of mustard seeds, then by the time the last seed is picked, the age of the world cycle would still continue. (If a mustard seed is 3 mm in diameter, then taking one seed every 100 years from a seven-mile cube of seeds, would take 936 quintillion years, 68 billion times the age of the universe.)

Jewish texts compare the knowable universe to the size of a mustard seed to demonstrate the world's insignificance and to teach humility.[9] The Jewish philosopher Nahmanides mentions the universe expanded from the time of its creation, in which it was the size of a mustard seed.[10]

See also


  1. Debra Ronca. "Is eye of newt a real thing?". Retrieved 12 August 2016.
  2. "Meaning of Shakespeare's Macbeth Quote 'Eye of Newt, and Toe of Frog'". Retrieved 12 August 2016.
  3. Indian Food Packer, All India Food Preservers' Association., vol. 36, 1982, p.91
  4. "Pulses and Special Crops > Pulses and Special Crops > Producers". March 20, 2007. Retrieved July 28, 2010.
  5. "Major Food And Agricultural Commodities And Producers - Countries By Commodity". Retrieved January 25, 2015.
  6. "Mark 4 - The Parable of the Sower". The Parable of the Sower. New International Version of the Bible. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
  7. Sharman, Shreshtha; Neeta Sharma. "Together with English Language & Literature (Term II)". p. 222. Retrieved 12 August 2016.
  8. Buddhaghosa - Buddhist legends, Volume 28 (published 1921)
  9. Michaelson, Jay. "The meaning of God". also verification at about jay michaelson
  10. Dr. Gerald Schroeder. "Your Life, Your Judaism". © 2011
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