Aavalu, rai, sarson or mustard seeds are black, brown or white colored tiny seeds about 1 to 2 mm in diameter , used most commonly in tempering south Indian dishes. They add a pungent flavor to the dish. This spice is used mostly in the Southern and western parts of India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan.
Aavalu was first mentioned in the story about a grieving mother told by Gautam Buddha in India. The story was about a grieving mother, where she lost her only son and took his body to Gautam Buddha to find a treatment or a cure. There, Gautam Buddha asked her to get a handful of mustard seeds from a family which never lost a child, parent, sibling, or friend. She could not find any such house and realized that death is the ultimate truth and no one can escape from it.
In culinary use, Aavalu or mustard seed was first used by French during the 800 AD.
Brown mustard is the main ingredient in preparing pickles.
Mustard sauce or mustard paste is used with snacks including sandwhiches, French fries, hot dogs, and burgers.
Its oil is specifically used to prepare dry vegetable dishes like bhindi masala, karela fry, Baingan fry, gobi masala, and many more such tawa or kadhai recipes.
Popularly and commonly used in tempering the south Indian dishes like Sambhar, Idli, Upma, Dosa masala etc. It is also used in tempering the Punjabi kadhi.
100 gms of mustard seeds consist of B-complex vitamins including riboflavin, thiamin, folates, pyridoxine, and niacin. These vitamins help in regulating the metabolism and smooth working of nervous system. Along with this, it also contains anti-oxidants like Vitamin A, C, and K.
Mustard seeds are high in calories, and hundred grams of mustard seeds consist of more than 500 calories. Since, they are rich in fiber ,they help in reducing the cholesterol levels and help in the reduction of weight.
Non Food Uses
When the seeds are grounded and taken with water, they act as laxative and help stimulate the intestinal emission.
Seeds oil has many non-food uses, where it is applied on body and scalp to alleviate joint pains and increase the hair growth respectively.