Bitter mustard seeds in curries - them or me?
can someone clear this up for me - when cooking with mustard seeds (had this happen with yellow and black ones), mostly they're delicious, but every now and then they come out horribly bitter.
Any one know why? I have 2 suspects:
1) I didn't fry them long enough first, or
2) the seeds I used were old or something (although they shouldn't be..)
be nice to know for future ref
Thanks for the thoughts - yes it was actually a sub for black - I like the flavour of the yellow (generally) in that instance - in an indian influenced recipe
Perhaps I'll do a taste test on pre-popped, popped, and post-popped sometime when I have time on my hands, just to make sure. Seeing as you've suggested it as well, suspect undercooked is the winner though
Interestingly enough, I just made a rice dish tonight in which I didn't let the mustard seeds pop to completion. And it turned out bitter -- a raw, mustardy bitterness as opposed to a burnt bitterness. So chefj is right on.
Now, I understand why Raghavan Iyer (whose book 660 Curries I most often cook from) always calls for sauteeing the mustard seeds by themselves until they all pop before adding other tempering ingredients. Until today, I had never experienced undercooked mustard seeds because I always cooked them first.