Sesame-The Little Seeds with Big Benefits
Esgee's Kitchen

Sesame-The Little Seeds with Big Benefits


It is not for anything but its nutritional value that Sesame is called the ‘Queen of Oil Seeds’. It is a great source of nutrients including magnesium, iron copper, zinc, protein, vitamin E, thiamin, calcium and fibre. This seed comes in a variety of hues ranging from white to black- all equally nourishing. So, include sesame in your meals whether you roast it or toast it

1. Tahini

Cuisine: Mediterranean and Middle East

This is a sesame seed paste which uses olive oil. It is used to make hummus and is a popular dip with pita bread, cut vegetables and grilled meat.

Prep Time: 2 minutes Cooking Time: 5 minutes

  • I cup white sesame seeds
  • 1/3 cup olive oil [if you want the paste thick reduce the quantity of oil]

Dry roast the sesame seeds on medium heat in a pan. Stir frequently and allow them to brown lightly. Take care when you do this as sesame tends to burn easily. Cool and then transfer to a food processor. Add the olive oil and grind to a nice paste. Add salt and store in an airtight jar in the refrigerator. It will keep for several months.

PS. If you prefer, you may use sesame oil instead of olive oil

2. Sesame balls/ Til Laddus

This is most often made with black sesame seeds and is popular in South India. In North India the white variety is used. This recipe does not require making syrup. It is quick and easy to do.

Prep Time: 5-7 minutes Cooking Time: 5 minutes

  • 1 cup roasted black sesame seeds
  • 1 cup coconut gratings [optional]
  • ½ cup jaggery powder
  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • 2-3 tablespoons roasted peanuts

Put all the ingredients in a food processor and grind for a minute to a coarse paste. Transfer this paste onto a plate using a spatula. Grease palms with a little ghee. Take a spoonful of the paste and make into a small ball. Repeat till all the paste has been rolled out.

This is a sweet which is healthy and tasty. Store them in an airtight contai

PS. I like to add peanuts to the sesame balls but it can be made without them too. Some prefer to add cashew nuts instead. Also adding coconut is an option which some may like to omit.

3. Sesame Rice/ Ellu Saadam

Cuisine: Tamil Nadu

This is an easy and delicious variety of rice preparation.

Prep Time: 15 minutes Cooking Time: 30 minutes

  • 1 cup rice
  • 2 cups water [approx]
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 tablespoons sesame seeds [black/white]
  • 1 teaspoon urad dal/split black gram
  • 2-3 dry red chilies
  • A pinch of asafoetida/ hing
  • 1-2 teaspoons of sesame oil
  • ½ teaspoon of mustard seeds
  • 8-10 curry leaves
  • Cook rice with water and salt and set aside.

In a pan heat the sesame seeds on a low flame and roast lightly. Stir nonstop till they pop and begin to give off an aroma. Transfer to a plate and allow them to cool. In the same pan roast the urad dal to a golden brown. Add the dry chilies and continue stirring for a minute. Allow them to cool.

In a dry grinder add the roasted urad dal, chilies and some asafetida and grind to a coarse powder. To this add the roasted sesame seeds also and powder. Do not grind for too long or the sesame will give out oil and it will become a paste.

In a pan crackle mustard seeds in some oil. Put in the curry leaves and stir. Add the cooked rice to this and stir. Pour the sesame mixture over the rice and combine well. Check for salt and if required add some more.

Sesame rice served hot is an exceptionally good main course dish.