Virgin Black Sesame Oil 1liter

Still used as a medicine in India, oil pressed from the raw seed is used as a massage oil in Ayurvedic medicine. In Burma and some parts of India, sesame oil has long been the universal cooking medium and is what gives the typical flavour to foods of those regions, although fairly tasteless in itself. It may be a clear or golden colour compared to the darker, more aromatic oriental sesame oil used in China, Japan and Korea, which is pressed from toasted sesame seeds. If gingelly oil or til oil is unavailable, use the cold-pressed sesame oil from health food shops mixed with 20 per cent oriental (toasted) sesame oil or use one part oriental sesame oil to 3 parts other flavourless vegetable oil such as corn oil, grapeseed oil or light olive oil. This is a reasonable substitute for the til oil or gingelly oil called for in recipes from India and Burma.

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Also known as gingelly oil and til oil. Sesame oil is a very ancient ingredient. The Assyrians, more than 600 years BC, used it as a vegetable oil. It was expensive, however, and a hundred years later it is recorded as being used only by the rich as food, ointment and medicine during the reign of King Cyrus of Persia (559-529 BC).

Still used as a medicine in India, oil pressed from the raw seed is used as a massage oil in Ayurvedic medicine. In Burma and some parts of India, sesame oil has long been the universal cooking medium and is what gives the typical flavour to foods of those regions, although fairly tasteless in itself. It may be a clear or golden colour compared to the darker, more aromatic oriental sesame oil used in China, Japan and Korea, which is pressed from toasted sesame seeds. If gingelly oil or til oil is unavailable, use the cold-pressed sesame oil from health food shops mixed with 20 per cent oriental (toasted) sesame oil or use one part oriental sesame oil to 3 parts other flavourless vegetable oil such as corn oil, grapeseed oil or light olive oil. This is a reasonable substitute for the til oil or gingelly oil called for in recipes from India and Burma.

Asian sesame oil derives its dark amber colour and nutty flavour from hulled sesame seeds, toasted prior to pressing. It is used in Chinese and Korean cuisine, not as a cooking medium but generally added at the end of cooking in small quantities as a flavour highlight. There are quite dramatic colour variations in sesame oil, depending on its source. Cold-pressed sesame oil is almost colourless; sesame oil from an Indian store (probably labelled gingelly or til oil) is golden; and sesame oil from a Chinese shop is dark, almost red-brown. Cold pressed sesame oil, however healthy, has none of the flavour of oriental sesame oil since it is pressed from raw, not roasted seeds, and will therefore not produce an authentic result if used in an Asian recipe.

Dark sesame oil, one of the intriguing flavours of the orient, is the one to use when a recipe from China, Japan or Korea calls for sesame oil. Oriental sesame oil is popular in Japan as a flavouring oil for tempura (deep frying) blended with peanut, rapeseed (canola) or soybean oil in a ratio which varies according to personal taste.

From Charmaine Solomon's Encyclopedia of Asian Food, Periplus Editions,1998,supplied courtesy of New Holland Publishers (Australia) Pty Ltd.

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