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Sesame Seed  - Sesamum Indicum

Sesame Seed  ( Sesamum Indicum )

Description
It is an annual plant growing 50 to 100 cm (1.6 to 3.3 ft) tall, with opposite leaves 4 to 14 cm (1.6 to 5.5 in) long with an entire margin; they are broad lanceolate, to 5 cm (2 in) broad, at the base of the plant, narrowing to just 1 cm (0.4 in) broad on the flowering stem.

The flowers are yellow, tubular, 3 to 5 cm (1.2 to 2.0 in) long, with a four-lobed mouth. The flowers may vary in colour with some being white, blue or purple.

Sesame fruit is a capsule, normally pubescent, rectangular in section and typically grooved with a short triangular beak. The length of the fruit capsule varies from 2 to 8 cm, its width varies between 0.5 to 2 cm, and the number of loculi from 4 to 12. The fruit naturally splits opens (dehisces) to release the seeds by splitting along the septa from top to bottom or by means of two apical pores, depending on the varietal cultivar. The degree of dehiscence is of importance in breeding for mechanised harvesting as is the insertion height of the first capsule.

Sesame seeds are small. The size, form and colours vary with the thousands of varieties now known. Typically, the seeds are about 3 to 4 millimeters long by 2 millimeters wide and 1 millimeter thick. The seeds are ovate, slightly flattened and somewhat thinner at the eye of the seed (hilum) than at the opposite end. The weight of the seeds are between 20 and 40 milligrams. The seed coat (testa) may be smooth or ribbed. Sesame seeds come in many colours depending on the cultivar harvested. The most traded variety of sesame is off-white coloured. Other common colours are buff, tan, gold, brown, reddish, gray and black. Sesame seed is sometimes sold with its seed coat removed (decorticated). This is the variety often present on top of buns in developed economies.

Black Sesame Seeds  :  Black sesame seeds (Sesamum Indicum L) are similar to the more common white sesame seeds. Black sesame seeds are not hulled, brown (golden) sesame seeds retain their hulls too, and the white seeds are hulled which exposes their true seed color. Lighter colored sesame seeds are used more in the West and in the Middle East, and the black sesame seeds are more popular in Far East cuisine. White and black sesame seeds can be used together for an attractive accent to any meal. Sesame seeds are rich in vitamins and minerals and offer several health related benefits. Black sesame seeds contain about 60% more calcium than hulled sesame seeds.

Sesame seeds are thought to have originated in India. The famous saying "Open sesame!" came from the sesame seed pod which bursts open when ripe. In Africa sesame seeds are called 'benne' and are used as food and for their oil content. Sesame seeds have been around for thousands of years, in fact it is said that when the gods created the world they drank sesame seed wine.

Black sesame seeds are more flavorful and have a stronger aroma than white or brown sesame seeds. Toasting black sesame seeds releases beneficial chemicals as well as enhancing the flavor. Black sesame seeds are rich in a fatty oil. Oil content is high, between 40% and 60%. The oil has a distinctive flavor, and is rich in antioxidants which give it a long shelf life. The seeds also enjoy a long shelf life and resist rancidity. After removing the oil, seeds are 35% to 50% protein. Sesame butter, also known as 'tahini', is a paste which resembles peanut butter. Tahini is made from ground, hulled sesame seeds and is used in Hummus and other Middle Eastern and Asian dishes.

White Sesame Seeds  : The white seeds are extremely rich in calcium and are useful in all cases of calcium deficiency. Sesame seeds are rich in proteins, fats, carbohydrates, fibers and other minerals and vitamins. In many of the cuisines over the world , it plays a quite significant role as many of the dishes are totally based on its crunchy flavor. Sesame seeds offer a high level of oil i.e. around 55% of its total mass. It is rich in taste there is no bitter taste in white sesames and it is widely used for tofees,snacks,burgers,and pizza's.

Hulled Sesame Seeds  :  Hulled sesame is pearly white in colour. Hulling or decorticating is a process of removing the outer husk of sesame seeds. It has a rich, nut-like flavor when roasted. Hulled sesame seeds are widely used in bakery and confectionary industries. Sesame Seeds can be slightly browned or cooked with other ingredients. Nice crunchy texture. One of the oldest seeds known to man. Sesame Seeds are used extensively in Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Greek and Asian cuisine. Sesame Seeds when ground can be made into tehina paste and halva. Add to cookie, pastry, and cake recipes and tasty as a main ingredient in candy. Throw some over vegetables or top a casserole or baked chicken with Sesame Seeds before baking.


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