On to the se­same street

With Makar Sankranti ap­proach­ing, chefs talk about the ben­e­fits of and the best ways to use se­same seeds in dishes

Hindustan Times (Gurugram) - City - - LIFESTYLE - An­jali Shetty ■ an­[email protected]

Se­same seeds or til are a must dur­ing Makar Sankranti, they are mainly used for the pur­pose of wor­ship and in the prepa­ra­tion of sweets, which are of­ten ex­changed along with the greet­ing , ‘Til­gul ghya, goad bola’. The hum­ble crunchy seed is a na­tive to In­dia and avail­able in abun­dance. Chef Vivek Swamy points out that se­same seeds are avail­able all year round. “They are proved to have sev­eral amaz­ing ben­e­fits, in­clud­ing se­same oil for oral health, a sub­sti­tute for Vi­ta­min E or Vi­ta­min C to top it all, it helps with sleep dis­or­ders.”

Ac­cord­ing to chef Ajay Ku­mar, se­same seeds may be one of the old­est condi­ments known to man. The su­per seeds are packed with health boost­ing min­er­als.

Chef Sabyasachi Go­rai says, “They are highly nutri­tional. Se­same seeds help in im­prov­ing di­ges­tion as it has a lot of fi­bre con­tent.”

COOK­ING IT UP

“Se­same seeds can be best rel­ished hulled and slightly toasted. The purest form of se­same is al­ways the bit­ter, but po­tent, se­same oil,” shares Swamy.

Chef Gautam Samel shares that the se­same is a must when it comes to Asian cui­sine. “Se­same can be lightly tossed in a pan and used to make se­same and honey bars. It can even be used in oil, mainly in Chi­nese cui­sine. Se­same oil and se­same paste is used a lot in Ja­panese food as well,” Samel adds.

The pos­si­bil­i­ties are end­less, chef Ajay Cho­pra says “Toast them and sprin­kle on top of your break­fast ce­real, se­same seeds of­ten mixed with jag­gery, rewdi, ga­jak and lad­doo are pop­u­lar north In­dian items dur­ing the win­ter.”

SE­SAME SUR­PRISE

Pop­u­lar dishes in­clude se­same And honey bars, se­same ice cream, se­same rubbed soy sticks, tan­doori aloo, fat­toush with cit­rus lime and se­same tahini and warm len­til salad.

Go­rai adds, “I have been closely work­ing with se­same seeds since a decade now. I have cre­ated a lot of dishes us­ing this beauty. My per­sonal favourites are the black soya chaap, se­same crusted beef steaks and se­same prawns. In desserts, some of my pre­ferred dishes are se­same cheese­cake, se­same prof­iteroles and black se­same cho­co­late deca­dence.”

Chef Pinku Biswas, shares, “Some savoury dishes would be spinach and straw­berry salad with se­same seeds, savoury se­same cook­ies, se­same seeds and cot­tage cheese bites. Sweet would be til pa­pdi and til laddu.”

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