Sesame plant is a tall annual herb in the Pedaliaceae family, which grows extensively in Asia, particularly in Burma, China, and India. It is also one of the chief commercial crops in Nigeria, Sudan, and Ethiopia. Scientific name: Sesamum indicum.
What is Sesame Seeds?
Sesame plant requires well-drained sandy soil and tropical environment to flourish. It grows about 5 feet in height and bears plenty of pink-white foxglove type flowers. Sesame seeds are small, almost oblate in shape. Toasted sesame feature pleasant, nutty flavor.
Sesame is among the seeds rich in quality vitamins, and minerals. They are very good sources of B-complex vitamins such as niacin, folic acid, thiamin (vitamin B1), pyridoxine (vitamin B6), and riboflavin. Sesame seeds are an excellent source of copper, a very good source of manganese, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, molybdenum, and selenium.
Many of these minerals have a vital role in bone mineralization, red blood cell production, enzyme synthesis, hormone production, as well as regulation of cardiac and skeletal muscle activities.
Sesame seeds feature delicate nutty flavor. Their flavor indeed becomes more pronounced once they gently toasted under low flame heat for a few minutes. Sesame seeds used liberally in cooking. The seeds ground with olive or any other vegetable oils to prepare semi-solid, flavorful paste, which is then added to different recipes.
Dry, toasted sesame seeds and vegetable oil are mixed into a thin light brown paste, tahini. Tahini is one of the main ingredients in the famous middle-eastern dip, hummus.
Toasted seeds sprinkled over sandwiches, biscuits, bread, cakes, salads, stir fries, etc.
The seeds are largely employed in the production of margarine in Europe.
The seeds used in many traditional south-Indian sweet delicacies, often mixed with roasted peanuts, almonds, and jaggery.
Roasted and crushed seeds often sprinkled over salads, desserts, particularly sundaes and other confectionery preparations