Whole grain mustard is a staple in my fridge and my kitchen.
We enjoy it as a sauce, as in this mustard vinaigrette with green beans, or sometimes I catch myself even mixing it into food to give flavor to a dish (I like it will lentil soups!).
Learn how to make homemade whole grain mustard with my recipe and follow the photo instructions below.
The mustard seed is one of my all-time favorite spices.
That might be because my European roots use the yellow seeds commonly in pastes and also because my husband’s traditional food culture uses the brown and darker mustard seed versions in the Indian cuisine.
Yet, I have noticed that the mustard as a spice has often been overlooked and forgotten.
The fact that we commonly buy our mustard pastes ready made in the Western world, got us so far that the mustard seeds almost disappeared in the grocery store shelves and in our kitchens.
On the other hand, Indian food tradition still uses the mustard seeds, oil, and even the leaves. These are essential ingredients in the food culture of the subcontinent. Especially in West Bengal where the mustard spice makes a daily appearance in local food.
However, In the Far and Near East, dark brown and black mustard seeds are more commonly available.
In the Western world, bigger yellow mustard seeds are a common sight! Yet, of course, ready-made mustard pastes in different variations are most popular such as the classic French Dijon mustard paste, the French Dijon whole grain mustard or the bright yellow English mustard paste.
What is whole grain mustard?
Whole grain mustard is mostly associated and known as whole grain Dijon mustard (from Dijon city in Burgundy France) or moutard á l’ancienne in French.
Yet as a side note, whole grain or grainy mustard pastes, in general, can be found all over the world in different cuisines. AND there is also a popular ground (non-grainy) Dijon mustard variation.
In this post, we will focus on the whole grain dijon mustard since this grainy mustard recipe is a dijon copycat recipe.
It is common knowledge that the making of Dijon mustard, that might be the whole grain or ground mustard, is a science and highly secretive recipe of the region in France.
Therefore, Dijon mustard received a protected label in the late 1930s. That means the production has been strictly watched and limited to the region of Burgundy.
That means this whole grain mustard recipe and any other whole grain dijon style mustard is a copycat recipe and can never be sold under the name of dijon mustard.
So this special protection is just another reason why generally speaking dijon mustard and any other mustard in this world are not the same.
What is the difference between whole grain mustard and ground mustard?
The main difference is the mustard grain smoothness. Besides that, Whole grain mustard paste is much milder compared to ground mustard paste, all the grainier and contains mostly a mixture of yellow and black or brown mustard seeds.
I repeat, Whole Grain mustard is often associated only with the city of Dijon which is part of the French region of burgundy heritage. The truth is many different varieties of grainy mustard pastes exists all over the world.
On the other hand, ground mustards are widely known in different parts of the world.
As explained earlier, there are generally speaking 2 main different French mustard variations from Dijon one being the grainy mustard and the secondly the specialized smooth yellow ground mustard which is widely known as French mustard globally.
What is the difference between ground French Dijon mustard and any other French ground mustard? What is mustard made of?
It is known that the yellow mustard seeds for the ground or whole grain Dijon mustard paste are collected from a certain yellow mustard type and the seed’s “skin” is partially removed. The paste also goes through some kind of fermentation and the acidity is added with verjuice, a highly acidic juice made by pressed unripe green grapes grown in that region in Burgundy.
Whereas OTHER French regional whole grain mustard recipes include White wine Vinegar and the procedures and ingredients are different as well. Some recipes include even flour and certain spices such as cumin and turmeric.
Types of mustard
In fact, other, non-dijon mustard pastes which are part of the gourmet mustard paste heritage in France include the green pepper mustard and the blackberry mustard paste. Both are smooth ground mustard pastes.
Of course, we shouldn’t forget other mustard varieties in Europe such as:
- Bright yellow English mustard
- Sweet Bavarian mustard
- Sharp Tyrol horseradish mustard
- Hot Russian mustard
Foodrepublic.com has got a great mustard comparison here.
More about Mustard Seeds as a Spice
Where do mustard seeds come from?
Mustard seeds and especially the yellow variety grow in the Mediterranean area from a small plant into a shrub.
The yellow mustard seeds are mostly commercially grown in big quantities in Canada, Russia and East Europe such as the Czech Republic and Hungary.
Dark brown and Dark black mustard seeds are grown in and around the Himalaya region, which includes Nepal, Pakistan, India, Myanmar, and China.
What do mustard seeds taste like?
The yellow mustard seeds are often bigger in size, easier to crash and they do have a bitter aftertaste.
The brown & black mustard seeds are smaller in size, harder and I believe a bit less pungent compared to their yellow counterparts.
Mustard Seeds health benefits
Did you know that mustard seeds contain a whole lot of essential oils and proteins?
At the same time, the seeds have been known in ancient times for their versatile and powerful illness cures. Today mustard seeds are still used as a digestive and it has some useful disinfectant properties.
How to make Whole Grain Mustard Recipe Dijon-style/copycat paste at home from scratch?
When you make the whole grain mustard condiment, keep in mind that it needs 4-5 weeks to rest before you can enjoy the grainy mustard paste and consume it with your meal.
The longer you keep the seeds to rest/marinate the more flavorful it will be at the end. In my recipe, I have used White wine Vinegar instead of Verjuice and the yellow and dark mustard seed ratio is at 1:1.
Brown and Yellow mustard seeds can be easily purchased online or otherwise look out for mustard seeds in your nearest organic store or ethnic neighborhood grocery store.
In this whole grain mustard recipe, I added a bit more Turmeric powder then what they would add in France.
I did that because I live in a humid moldy environment. So that the condiment survives longer I chose to add more of the antifungal and antibacterial yellow turmeric (Curcuma) spice.
You can adjust the amount of turmeric you would like to add to your copycat dijon mustard paste. The flavors don’t change that much. The color is the main difference and makes the mustard paste to pop out more.
The paste can be stored in a dry and cool place for months. I usually store the grainy mustard pot in the fridge.
Whole grain Mustard recipe - Moutarde à l'ancienne
- 1 Jar clean sterilized
- Add to a bowl your yellow and brown Mustard seeds and cover them with 80 milliliters of the White Wine vinegar. Let it stand for at least 1 hour. You will notice that the vinegar will bubble a bit when it comes in touch with the mustard seeds, that's alright. We want the seeds to get a bit soft.
- Next, we will pound the seeds and if they have lost a bit on liquids, then add about 1-2 Tablespoons water to the mixture. To pound with the pestle add always small batches and smash and twist it so long until most of the yellow seeds have turned into a mush. The brown once don't crack that easily but with the pounding, they will crack a bit and emit the flavors. Do that with the remaining mustard seeds.
- In a bowl with the smashed mustard seeds add the remaining 40-milliliter vinegar, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and Turmeric powder. Mix the content well and fill a clean jar with the condiment. Add the Oil on top and close the lid.
- You will need to let it stand for minimum 4 weeks before you can use it. That is the grainy mustard paste will need to ferment a bit or let's say the flavors "get used to each other" and form the superb flavor we love so much in the whole grain mustard. Let it rest and then you can enjoy it!
Whole grain mustard uses:
- Creamy Whole Grain Mustard Salad Dressing
- French Green Bean Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette
- Pan Seared Chicken Breast Recipe with Mustard Cream Sauce by wholesomeyum.com
Dear Reader, how did you learn about whole grain mustard dressing?
Has it been part of your life all along?
Please, feel free to share with us your thoughts further below in the comment section. We love hearing from you!
The post Whole Grain Mustard, was first published on January 26t, 2015, and has been updated and enhanced ever since!