50 grams of the finest quality Sesame Seeds.
Sesame (Sesamum indicum) is a flowering plant in the genus Sesamum. Numerous wild relatives occur in Africa and a smaller number in India. It is widely naturalized in tropical regions around the world and is cultivated for its edible seeds which grow in pods.
Despite the fact that the majority of the wild species of the genus Sesamum are native to sub-saharan Africa it has been demonstrated that sesame was first domesticated in India with archeological evidence that it was cultivated at Harappa in the Indus Valley between 2250 and 1750 BC and a more recent find of charred sesame seeds in Miri Qalat and Shahi Tump in the Makran region of Pakistan.
Sesame is grown primarily for its oil-rich seeds which come in a variety of colors from cream-white to charcoal-black. In general the paler varieties of sesame seem to be more valued in the West and Middle East while the black varieties are prized in the Far East. The small sesame seed is used whole in cooking for its rich nutty flavour (although such heating damages their healthful polyunsaturated fats) and also yields sesame oil.
Sesame seeds are sometimes added to breads including bagels and the tops of hamburger buns. Sesame seeds may be baked into crackers often in the form of sticks. Sesame seeds are also sprinkled onto some sushi style foods. Whole seeds are found in many salads and baked snacks as well in Japan. Tan and black sesame seed varieties are roasted and used for making the flavoring gomashio. In Greece seeds are used in cakes while in Togo seeds are a main soup ingredient. The seeds are also eaten on bread in Sicily and France . About one-third of the sesame crop imported by the United States from Mexico is purchased by McDonald’s for their sesame seed buns.
In Manipur (North Eastern State of India) Black sesame is used extensively as a favourite side dish called ‘Thoiding’ and in ‘Singju’ (A kind of salad). Sesame is used extensively for preparing these two dishes. Unlike mainland Indians they are prepared with ginger in thoiding with chilli and with vegetables in Singu which is spicy and hot. In Assam black sesame seeds are hugely used to make Til Pitha and Tilor laru (sesame seed balls) during bihu. In Punjab province of Pakistan and Tamil Nadu state of India a sweet ball called “Pinni” is made of its seeds mixed with sugar. Also in Tamil Nadu sesame oil used extensively in their cuisine ‘Milakai Podi’ a ground powder made of sesame and dry chili is used to enhance flavor and consumed along with other traditional foods such as idli.
Sesame (benne) seed cookies and wafers both sweet and savory are still consumed today in places like Charleston South Carolina – and the seeds are believed to have been brought into 17th century colonial America by West African slaves. In Cuban cuisine sugar and white sesame seeds are combined into a bar resembling peanut brittle and sold in stores and street corners.
Ground and processed the seeds can also be used in sweet confections. Sesame seeds can be made into a paste called tahini (used in various ways including in hummus) and a Middle Eastern confection called halvah. In India sections of the Middle East and East Asia popular treats are made from sesame mixed with honey or syrup and roasted (called pasteli in Greece). In Japanese cuisine goma-dofu is made from sesame paste and starch.
East Asian cuisines like Chinese cuisine use sesame seeds and oil in some dishes such as dim sum sesame seed balls and the Vietnamese bánh rán. Sesame flavour (through oil and roasted or raw seeds) is also very popular in Korean cuisine used to marinate meat and vegetables. Chefs in tempura restaurants blend sesame and cottonseed oil for deep-frying. Sesame oil was a preferred cooking oil in India until the advent of groundnut (peanut) oil.
The seeds are exceptionally rich in iron magnesium manganese copper and calcium (90 mg per tablespoon for unhulled seeds 10 mg for hulled) and contain vitamin B1 (thiamine) and vitamin E (tocopherol). They contain lignans including unique content of sesamin which are phytoestrogens with antioxidant and anti-cancer properties. Among edible oils from six plants sesame oil had the highest antioxidant content. Sesame seeds also contain phytosterols associated with reduced levels of blood cholesterol but do not contain caffeine. The nutrients of sesame seeds are better absorbed if they are ground or pulverized before consumption as in tahini.
Sesame seeds is rich in the anti-nutrient phytic acid.
Women of ancient Babylon would eat halva a mixture of honey and sesame seeds to prolong youth and beauty while Roman soldiers ate the mixture for strength and energy.
There have been erroneous claims that sesame seeds also contain THC which may be detectable on random screening. This error stems from a misunderstanding of the commercial drug Dronabinol a synthetic form of THC. The normal delivery mechanism for synthetic Dronabinol is via infusion into sesame oil and encapsulation into soft gelatin capsules. As a result some people are under the mistaken assumption that sesame oil naturally contains THC. In fact THC CBD CBN and the other cannabinoids are unique to the Cannabis genus. Sesame oil is used for massage and health treatments of the body and teeth (oil pulling) in traditional Indian medicine.
Sesame seeds may produce an allergic reaction in a very small percentage of people.