Sesame seed is an ’ancient‘ spice and this spice is known to have been cultivated in the Indus valley and Harappa between 2250 and 1750 BC!!
This seed has been used as food, medicine and to light lamps from a very ancient time. In one of the legends, it is said
that the Gods drank sesame wine the night before the earth was created!
These ancient seeds range from creamy white to black color. The light colored ones are favored in the West and middle east and the dark ones are
valued in the far east. They are prized for the nutty taste they impart to the dishes and as well as for the oil they yield.
Sesame seed is indeed a rare seed as it contains high quantities of methionine and tryptophan as well as other amino acids and it makes a perfect balance of amino acids in a vegetarian diet when combined with grains and legumes.
Nutritive Value / 100 grams
1. Energy – 563 Kcal
2. Protein – 18.3 gms
3. Fat – 43.3 gms
4. Fiber – 2.9 gms
5. Carbohydrates – 25gms
6. Iron – 9.3 mg
7. Calcium – 1450 mg
8. Phosphorus – 570 mg
9. Carotene – 60 micrograms
10. Thiamin – 1.01 mg
11. Riboflavin – 0.34 mg
12. Niacin – 4.4 mg
13. Choline – 2.24 mg
14. Oxalic acid – 1700 mg
Sesame seeds have about three times the calcium content of milk. They also have magnesium, vitamin A, some B vitamins, sesamin lignan-an
antioxidant, zinc, phosphorus, copper, iron and potassium. Modern studies have found the oil to have wide medical and pharmaceutical
application, it is a mild laxative, has anti-cancer, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and many other beneficial qualities.
These seeds goes well into sweet and savory dishes due to their nutty flavor. They can be tossed into salads, added to breads, the oil drizzled over
cold noodles, ground and used as a seasoning for pasta, vegetables or rice, used to decorate or garnish dishes, ground with other ingredients
and used as a dip/dressing. These are just a few examples as to how they are used in the culinary world.