6 more reasons to have til!

by Sanjeev Kapoor

“Til gul ghya, god god bola” words of goodwill exchanged on Makar Sankranti with a thought to forget past ill feelings and start afresh.  Such is the fame of sesame seeds (til) and jaggery (gul)! Revered for its powerful warming properties through the ages, the tiny sesame seeds are apt for winters. They date back as old as 3000 BC, probably the oldest condiment known to mankind! These tiny ancient seeds are a powerhouse of nutrients. So, instead of gorging on fried samosas, cheesy snacks and fattening pies during the nippy months, say hello to the yummy sesame seeds snacks. Once you learn health benefits of these nutty seeds, you will surely stock up on them. Know more about this wonder ingredient

Indian Connect: Indians have been using these oval-shaped seeds since the Harappan times. Native to India and Africa, sesame seed pods are drought resistant and don’t require any distinctive climatic conditions. In India black sesame seeds are used for many religious rituals, while white sesame seeds are relished in both sweet and savoury dishes.

Sesame Power: From maintaining a healthy heart to keeping diabetes in check and promoting bone health, sesame seeds offer umpteen health benefits. A handful of these tiny white seeds are good enough to burst stress, cure hangovers and promote proper digestive health. Gargling every morning with hot water and a teaspoon of sesame oil maintains oral health and applying sesame oil to your hair acts as a natural sunscreen for it!  

Festive Fervor: Sesame seeds are considered auspicious during winter festivals like Makar Sankranti, Lohri, Uttrayan and Pongal. The brittles made from the tiny seeds are popular throughout country. Moreover, their crackling texture set a perfect mood for the season. Make hordes of winter delicacies with these tiny seeds like til laddoos, gajak, til papdi or just browse SanjeevKapoor.com for more recipes from sesame. Relish sesame sweets all through the season! 

Multiple Applications: According to Ayurveda, sesame is a wonder ingredient and is great to treat many ailments. Have a handful of these to combat cold or mix with jaggery syrup to treat painful menstruation. Massage with its oil to ease joint pain, swelling, headache, ear pain and more. Apply the pack of sesame, camphor and ghee to the burnt parts on the body and notice it getting healed in few days!

Perfect Companion: Rich sweetness of jaggery and crunchy texture of sesame seeds complement each other. Both the ingredients have heating properties, which combats cold and aids digestion process. Melt jaggery and add in sesame seeds, make a layer of these in an aluminum tray and cut them into square shapes to make wonderful barfis! Pile your jars with these and snack on them whenever you want during winters!

Culinary uses: Sesame seeds have numerous applications in addition to topping breads and buns, mixing into salads and stir fries. It adds an earthy texture to cookies and can be used in umpteen dishes for its rich nutty flavour. Besides, make til chikki and coarsely crush with rolling pin. Top your ice creams with it to enhance its flavour. Moreover, these tiny seeds have an influence in Lebanese cuisine. From Tahini to hummus, sesame seeds are an essential ingredient to make most Lebanon dishes.

Indeed, these seeds are magical and open doors to goodness just like the words “Open Sesame” did for Ali Baba in the story Arabian Nights!

Recommended recipesMoong Dal aur Til ke Vade,  Sesame Chicken,  Sesame Gold Coin,  Tilwale Biscuits,  Til ke Gajak,  Rice With Sesame Fried Vegetables,  Sesame And Coriander Coated Fish,  Steamed Broccoli With Three Seeds,  Long Beans With Honey Sesame.

For more recipes from sesame seeds, browse SanjeevKapoor.com

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MasterChef Sanjeev Kapoor

Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine. He is Chef extraordinaire, runs a successful TV Channel FoodFood, hosted Khana Khazana cookery show on television for more than 17 years, author of 150+ best selling cookbooks, restaurateur and winner of several culinary awards. He is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one in the world and empowering women through power of cooking to become self sufficient. His recipe portal www.sanjeevkapoor.com is a complete cookery manual with a compendium of more than 10,000 tried & tested recipes, videos, articles, tips & trivia and a wealth of information on the art and craft of cooking in both English and Hindi.