Skip to main content


a pestle and mortar
3min read

A Vegan’s Guide To Black Mustard Seeds

by Fabian Jackson

3min read

Wondering what black mustard seeds are all about? Keep reading to discover what they taste like, how to substitute them and vegan recipes that include them.

What are black mustard seeds? 

Known by its official name, Brassica nigra, black mustard is a plant that’s native to tropical regions of North Africa as well as parts of Asia and Europe. The plant is best known for its black seeds which are harvested, dried and used as spices in cooking.

mustard plant drawing

Photo credit: Fine Gardening

What do black mustard seeds taste like?

Black mustard seeds have a distinctive bitter and slightly spicy profile to them, making great additions to curry bases. 

What is the difference between black and yellow mustard seeds?

The two mustard seeds come from different plants in the Brassica family. Taste-wise, yellow mustard seeds are slightly sweeter and less spicy, but you can tell them apart by their namesake colours. 

black mustard seeds

Photo credit: Vegetarian Express

Black mustard seed substitute

If you’re trying to replicate the mustard flavour profile then the closest alternative you’ll find is yellow mustard seeds. Even though they have different profiles, they’re much closer than say Nigella seeds, which might look the same as black mustard but taste more peppery.

mustard powder box

Alternatively, using mustard powder or shop-bought wholegrain mustard will do the trick too. 

Vegan recipes with black mustard seeds

Tarka Dal


This dal is savoury and rich, fresh, hearty, and nourishing. Whether you strip it back and serve it plain or have it with tarka (warm tempered spices) stirred through for extra flavour and texture, you’re destined for a great dinner. 

Keralan Sundown


Our delicious Keralan Sundown Curry is packed with red lentils, kale and sweet potatoes and topped with toasted cashews and a crunchy carrot sambhar.

Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below. 


By Fabian Jackson
Fabian Jackson

Fabian is one of our lovely Content Marketing Assistants who loves writing almost as much as he loves coffee, old episodes of Escape to the Country (no judgement here), and cooking up a storm in his kitchen.

Read more from Fabian

Let us take care of dinner

We help to make eating more plants easy and delicious. Fancy letting us take care of dinner? Check out our delicious meals here.

Shop now
Multi award-winning great taste producer
Certified B Corporation
London Living Wage Employer
Plant Power


Where to find usVeganuaryUltra Processed FoodSustainability(Not at) school dinnerRefer a FriendPlanted blog

Stay in touch

Multi award-winning great taste producer
Certified B Corporation
London Living Wage Employer
Plant Power

© Copyright 2024 Allplants Ltd. All rights reserved