Written by: Anna Glavash. Check out many more of her delectable recipes on her blog, thekarmavore.com.
I use a lot of whole spices in my cooking. Grinding them myself produces more flavor in my food than using powders, and it can add interesting texture to a dish.
Mustard is my favorite condiment. I use it in many of the sauces and vinaigrettes I make, and i often grind whole mustard seeds into cooked dishes. It turns out that just as you can pickle a raw vegetable to make it more tender and flavorful, you can pickle whole seeds to add depth to their flavor and turn them into an awesome whole food condiment!
I have experimented with mustard seeds and loved the results. You can also make a blend of different whole spices, such as the Ayurvedic trio of cumin, coriander, and fennel. I used all four spices in a bean salad with roasted carrot, shaved fennel and herbs and the tangy seeds really woke up the flavors and brought depth to the vinaigrette.
Sweet, salty and sour is the trifecta of taste, and these three grounding flavors are especially good for alleviating an imbalance of vata dosha, which is dominant in the springtime. Use pickled seeds anywhere you would a dressing or sauce and enjoy the flavor and texture they bring to your dish.
1/4 cup seeds (mustard, cumin, coriander, fennel, or a combination)
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp salt
1 bay leaf
Toast seeds in a dry skillet on medium heat for a couple minutes until fragrant. Meanwhile, heat brine in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, add seeds, reduce heat and simmer 30-45 minutes, until tender. Let seeds cool in liquid, then drain and store in a jar in the fridge for up to 3 months.