When it comes to culinary use there are three popular types of mustard seeds, which include black, yellow, and brown seeds. The Brassica nigra plant produces black mustard seeds and grows in certain parts of Europe, Asia and North Africa. Yellow mustard seeds come from the Sinapis alba plant (the white mustard plant), while brown mustard seeds come from the Brassica juncea plant, and can sometimes appear dark yellow.
They contain a rich source of Selenium and possess potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. They also offer traces of the Vitamins A, C and the B-complex vitamins. The purported health benefits of mustard seeds are centred around muscular pain and respiratory disorders.
In most cases you can use mustard seeds in two ways. To make your own, home-made mustard you will need to grind the seeds down by hand with a pestle and a mortar (you can also use a coffee or spice grinder if you have one). Alternatively, mustard seeds can be toasted and added to a variety of home-made recipes.
The majority of mustard seeds are considered to be nutty and mildly aromatic. However, should you bite into them you will notice that they are a little fiery and extremely pungent - much like horseradish. Out of the three types of mustard seeds, the yellow seeds are milder than the black & brown ones.