Black Sesame Seeds
Sesame oil seeds are sources for some phyto-nutrients such as omega-6 fatty acids, flavonoid phenolic anti-oxidants, vitamins and dietary fiber with potent anti-cancer as well as health promoting properties.
Sesame plant is a tall annual herb of 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.
See also White Sesame Seeds, Brown Sesame Seeds
and Yellow SesameCuisine
Sesame seed is a common ingredient in various cuisines. It is used whole in cooking for its rich nutty flavour. 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. In Sicily and France, the seeds are eaten on bread. In Greece the seeds are also used in cakes.
In Asia, sesame seeds are sprinkled onto some sushi style foods. In Japan whole seeds are found in many salads and baked snacks and tan and black sesame seed varieties are roasted and used to make the flavouring gomashio. 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 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, or "simsim" as it is known in East Africa, is used in African cuisine. In Togo the seeds are a main soup ingredient and in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and in the north of Angola, wangila is a delicious dish of ground sesame, often served with smoked fish or lobster.
Sesame seeds and oil are used extensively in India. In most parts of the country, sesame seeds mixed with heated jaggery, sugar or palm sugar is made into balls and bars similar to peanut brittle or nit clusters and eaten as snacks. In Manipur black sesame is used in the preparation of Thoiding and in Singju. Thoiding is prepared with ginger and chili and vegetables are used in the spicy Singu dish. In Assam, black sesame seeds are used to make Til Pitha and Tilor laru during bihu. In Punjab and Tamil Nadu (both in India), a sweet ball called "Pinni" in Urdu and 'Ell urundai' in Tamil, "Ellunda" in Malayalam, "Yellunde" in Kannada and tilgul in Marathi is made of its seeds mixed with sugar.
Also in Tamil Nadu, sesame oil used extensively in their cuisine, Milagai Podi, a ground powder made of sesame and dry chili is used to enhance flavor, and is consumed along with other traditional foods such as idli. In Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, sesame oil is used as a preservative, as well as to temper the heat of their spicy foods, pickles and condiments.
Sesame is a popular and essential ingredient in many Middle Eastern cuisines. Sesame seeds are made into a paste called tahini (used in various ways, including hummus bi tahini) and the Middle Eastern confection halvah. Ground and processed, the seeds is also used in sweet confections.
In South Asia, Middle East, East Asian cuisines, popular confectionery are made from sesame mixed with honey or syrup and roasted into a sesame candy. In Japanese cuisine goma-dofu is made from sesame paste (Tahini) and starch.
Mexican cuisine refers to sesame seeds as Ajonjolí. It is mainly used as a sauce additive, such as mole or adobo. It is often also used to sprinkle over artisan breads and baked in traditional form to coat the smooth dough, especially on whole wheat flat breads or artisan nutrition bars, such as alegrías.
In Sicilian cuisine, what are commonly called "Italian sesame seed cookies" are known as giuggiuleni. A giuggiulena usually refers to a cookie, while a giurgiulena usually refers to a nougat-like candy, often made as a Christmas food. Both are alternative spellings for "sesame seed" in the Sicilian language.
Sesame oil is sometimes used as a cooking oil in different parts of the world, though different forms have different characteristics for high-temperature frying. The "toasted" form of the oil has a distinctive pleasant aroma and taste, and is used as table condiment in some regions, especially in East Asia. Toasted sesame oil is also added to flavor soups and other hot dishes, usually just before serving, to avoid dissipating the volatile scents too rapidly.