Open Sesame!

Popular all over the world, this tiny, flat, and teardrop-shaped seed packs a powerful punch and not just flavour wise. Just Google the health benefits of one of the oldest condiments know to man and you will be amazed.

White, black, yellow, and red they come in 4 colours.

With their history that can be traced back to ancient India, Egypt, and Assyrian legends and even considered a symbol of immortality at one point. You know you’ve struck food gold when it comes to this delicate nutty wonder.

So how do you know if the sesame you’ve bought is fresh? Smell it. If old, the oil in the seeds will smell rancid. Valued for their high content of sesame oil the funny thing is the oil itself is resistant to rancidity. So it’s best to store the seed airtight in a cool, dark place or in the fridge and the oil in a dark cupboard too. 

In fact in my opinion this is the best way to store most nuts and oils.

Now for its culinary uses.

Let’s tackle this through the regions. I feel it’s always interesting to understand how the very same ingredient can be used in so many different ways all over our wonderful world. This is where man is at his best with his imagination.

Halva, zaatar, sweets, bread, or tahini spread in the Middle East (add some grape molasses and it makes a great snack on bread). In the Mediterranean region, they are used in cakes. In Africa, it is ground as a paste and served alongside mains or added to soups. In Asia on salads,** bakes, sweets, in sushi, etc. Ever tried Ellu Sadam or Sesame rice. Sesame is known as Ellu in Tamil and Kannada. In this traditional dish, where rice is mixed with a spicy powder made from sesame seeds and other ingredients and eaten on special occasions.

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