Both black and white sesame seeds are packed with oils offering great health benefits and an unmistakable flavour. They are an essential ingredient in Middle Eastern and Asian cooking and popular in kitchens across all cultures. Sesame seeds form the basis of tahini paste, used to make the popular hummus dip and halva, a sweet confection. Sesame oil is used widely in Asian cooking. In Australia, they are often sprinkled on baked goods, used in salads and stir-fries and to make healthy snacks.
Apart from the obvious colour difference, white and black sesame seeds are very similar. Our sesame seeds are white, with the dark, slightly bitter outer husk removed. Toasting them before adding to dishes releases their full flavour and aroma.
With a high oil and cholesterol content, sesame seeds should be used in moderation. Many people have an allergic reaction to sesame with symptoms ranging from mild itching to anaphylaxis.
COOKING WITH SESAME SEEDS
Sesame seeds can be easily roasted to use in salads or used raw in stir fries, Asian cooking or health food bars.