Sesame seeds, popularly known as ‘Til‘ in Hindi, ‘Nuvvulu‘ in Telugu, ‘Ellu‘ (Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada), ‘Teel‘ in Marathi and ‘Til‘ in Bengali are the oldest condiment known to mankind. They add a lovely crunch to many Asian and Middle Eastern dishes. It is also a nutrient-dense condiment good for our body. It includes a combination of vitamins and minerals. White sesame seeds have higher iron content than the black ones. Sesame seeds add a nutty taste and a delicate, almost invisible, crunch to many Asian dishes. They are also the main ingredients in tahini (sesame seed paste) and the wonderful Middle Eastern sweet call halvah. They are available throughout the year.
Sesame seeds may be the oldest condiment known to man. They are highly valued for their oil which is exceptionally resistant to rancidity. "Open sesame"—the famous phrase from the Arabian Nights—reflects the distinguishing feature of the sesame seed pod, which bursts open when it reaches maturity.