Mustard leaves is also known as leaf mustards. It is one of the most nutritious green leafy vegetables available around in the winter months. The scientific name of mustard leaves is Brassica juncea. Leaf-mustards belongs to the Brassica family, which also includes cabbage, broccoli, brussels sprouts, etc. The mustard plant is native to sub-Himalayan plains of the Indian sub-continent, commonly cultivated for its leaves and oil seeds since ancient times.
Mustard leaves are rich in vitamin k and has many health benefits.
Antioxidant Benefits from Mustard Greens
Mustard leaves contains fat-soluble antioxidant vitamins, vitamin E,vitamin C.
It also provides unusual amounts of numerous phenolic antioxidants.
Glucosinolate Benefits from Mustard Greens
Mustard leaves contains sulfur-containing glucosinolates which are very nutritious. It reduces the risk of cancer, support digestive system, reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Mustard leaves also detoxifies the body.
Other Health Benefits from Mustard Greens
Mustard leaves reduces the risk of oxidative stress, reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases like atherosclerosis and lowers LDL cholesterol.
Mustard leaves can be eaten at any time of day. It goes well with every food item.
How to buy and store mustard leaves
Buy fresh, crispy, dark-green leaves and should show vitality. Avoid sunken, spotted, or yellow, discolored leaves. Mustard leaves can be stored in the refrigerator for 3 days. But they should be consumed quickly as they can lost their nutrients, storing them for long.
Ways to use mustard leaves
Mustard leaves can be used in a variety of ways.
- Fresh tender mustard greens can be eaten raw in salads and can be juiced with other greens and vegetables.
- In South Asian cuisines, mustard is generally stew fried or steam cooked and mixed with other greens such as spinach, fenugreek, etc. Its pungent, peppery flavor is somewhat tamed by adding butter, tomato, garlic and onion to the recipes.
- This green also mixes well with ham, pork, and bacon.
- Young mustard greens make great additions to salads.
- Serve healthy sautéed mustard greens with walnuts.
- Adding chopped mustard greens to a pasta salad gives it a little kick. One of our favorite combinations is chopped tomatoes, pine nuts, goat cheese, pasta, and mustard greens tossed with a little olive oil.
Season in which mustard leaves are available
Mustards are cool season winter crop. Their tender, crispy leaves are more flavorful which last from November until March.
How to make Sarson Ka Saag Recipe – Classic North Indian Saag Recipe
500 grams Mustard greens, washed and roughly chopped
250 grams Spinach Leaves (Palak), washed and roughly chopped
250 grams Bathua leaves, washed and roughly chopped
1 teaspoon Makki Ka Atta (Yellow Corn Meal Flour)
2 inch Ginger, finely chopped
4 cloves Garlic, finely chopped
1 Onion, thinly sliced
3 Green Chillies, slit into half
1/2 teaspoon Red chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon Garam masala powder
1/2 teaspoon Coriander Powder (Dhania)
Salt, to taste
3 tablespoons Ghee
- To begin making the Sarson Ka Saag Recipe, we will first steam the leaves together along with a little salt until soft and yet green. For this, you can use a steamer or a pressure cooker. Place all the leaves in the pressure cooker, add a little salt and 3 tablespoons of water. Cover the pressure cooker and cook until you hear one whistle. After the first whistle turn off the heat.
- Place the cooker under running water and release the pressure immediately and add the Makki ka atta. This process of releasing the pressure immediately will help keep the greens green.
- Allow it to cool. You can either puree the green or use a masher and mish mash the greens to make it soft and mushy. The way you like to present it is purely your choice.
- Heat a teaspoon of ghee in a heavy bottomed pan; add the ginger, garlic, onions and green chillies. Saute all the ingredients together on low heat until the onions are completely tender and soft.
- You can optionally cover the pan partly to create steam to cook the onions. This process of cooking consumes less oil.
- Once the onions are well softened, stir in the steamed sarson ka saag, red chilli powder, garam masala powder and coriander powder.
- Turn the heat to high and give the mixture a quick boil for a couple of minutes, so that the greens get the flavours from the spices and onions. Turn off the heat, check the salt and adjust to taste accordingly.
- Transfer the Sarson Ka Saag to a serving bowl and serve hot.
- Serve the Sarson Ka Saag along with Makki Ki Roti with a dollop of white butter and jaggery and end it with a Masala Chaas.
How to make Mustard Greens-Moong Dal
- 1 cup moong dal (split mung beans)
- 2 1/2 cups mustard greens, chopped
- Salt to taste
- 6 tsp vegetable oil
- 2 1/2 tsp urad dal (split black gram)
- 1 1/2 tsp mustard seeds (rai)
- Asafoetida powder (hing), a pinch
- 4 red chillies, cut into big pieces
- 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- Wash the moong dal a couple of times, so it’s not too sticky when cooked.
- Cook the dal and mustard greens in the pressure cooker with 1 1/2 cups of water for about 3 whistles or 8 minutes.
- Heat oil in a deep pan on high heat.
- Add hing, urad dal, and mustard seeds. When the seeds start to pop, add the red chillies and fry for a few seconds until they brown.
- Add the red chilli powder and turmeric powder.
- Add the cooked dal and spinach to this seasoning with 1 cup of water and salt.
- Let the mustard greens-moong dal come to a boil.
- Serve the mustard greens-moong dal with chapatis or any Indian bread or with rice, ghee, and lime pickle.
Mustard greens may contain goitrogens which can cause thyroxine hormone deficiency in individuals with thyroid dysfunction. People with known oxalate urinary tract stones are encouraged to avoid eating vegetables belonging to Brassica family.
Fun facts about mustard leaves
- Mustard leaves are known as Takana in Japanese cuisine.
- This 5,000 year old plant is from the Himalayas.
- In a 14th century Italian cookbook there are as many recipes for mustard greens as those for any other vegetable, yet mustard greens are virtually unknown in Italy today.
- Mustard green other names are: Mizuna (Brassica juncea var. japonica) also known as Xiu Cai, Kyona, Japanese Mustard, Potherb Mustard, Japanese Greens and California Peppergrass.
- Mizuna is a Japanese mustard green with dandelion-like jagged edge green leaves with a mild, sweet earthy flavor. It has been cultivated in Japan since ancient times, but most likely originated in China. Mizuna makes an excellent salad green, and is frequently found in Mesclun. It is also used in stir-frys and soups.
- Mustard greens are the most pungent of the cooking greens and lend a peppery flavor to food. They originated in the Himalayan region of India more than 5,000 years ago.
- Like many other cooking greens, mustard can be found in many Chinese, African-American, and southern dishes.
- Brassica juncea, the mustard plant, is characterized by it’s crumpled or flat leaves that may have scalloped, frilled or lacy edges. In addition, this plant produces the brown seeds that are used to make Dijon mustard.
- Mustard greens are an excellent source of both vitamins A and C and contain several other vitamins and minerals as well as fiber and protein.