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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

AJONJOLÍ, JONJOLÍ, SÉSAMO WITH TAHINI, SESAME SEED DIP, RECIPE

THE CULTIVATED SESAME PLANT, 
WHICH GROWS FROM ONE TO TWO FEET 
(30 TO 60 CM)
Photo by: science.howstuffworks.com
L. Sesamum indicum, Ar. simsim Fr. sésame, Eng. sesame. This plant is a native of eastern India, which was exported to the Near East. It is first documented in the Sumerian herbal some time after 2500 B.C. The word itself is derived from Tales of the Arabian Knights (henceforth referred to as Knights). The story “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves” reveals that sesame was the magic word used to open inaccessible doors. With it, one could obtain favor or recognition. Sesame was a lucky charm. He who possessed it gained his objectives without obstacles. At the same time, it provided protection and shelter. The Arabs introduced the plant to Al-Andalus. In cookery, it was used as a spice in cakes, breads, in various kinds of pastries and in the preparation of delicacies. The seeds decorated dishes. They flavored stews and sauces or were eaten raw. Medicinally, Avenzoar states that sesame is hot and humid. It generates vapors in the stomach and produces vomiting; if taken by anyone with yellow bile in the stomach, it augments and is altered. Sesame seeds are very nutritious once they are well digested. The leaves, with the seeds, were used as a poultice. To treat bleeding hemorrhoids, the seeds were ground and mixed with water. Ground into powder form, it was added to wine for nausea and constipation. Although the leaves rarely appear in pharmaceutical recipes, they were thought to have the same qualities as the seeds and oil, which are nutritive, demulcent, laxative and emollient. See aceite de semillas. [ES: Shamsuddín. “Gastronomía.” Sep 21, 01; ES: Stuart. 1987:263; and Ibn Zuhr/García Sánchez. 1992:49]


TAHINI, SESAME SEED DIP RECIPE FROM THE ARCHIVES OF THE MEDIEVAL SPANISH CHEF

Ingredients

2 oz/60 grs fresh sesame seeds
salt to taste
½ c warm water
crackers or slices of celery and carrots

Preparation

Grind sesame seeds in a food processor. Add water very slowly in a steady stream and blend until smooth.

Place in a bowl on a plate with crackres or vegetables for dipping.

OPEN SESAME
Photo by: Lord-Williams

2 comments:

  1. El ajonjolí sigue usándose mucho en los típicos dulces andaluces de Navidad (alfajores, roscos, mantecados, polvorones...) Aporta un toque de textura y de sabor tostado que contrasta con el del rosco o mantecado, más bien harinoso, a base (según el tipo) de harina de trigo o almendras molidas.
    La próxima vez dale a Lucca un polvorón, y su boca se abrirá más todavía!!!

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  2. Oh my yes, sesame is a must for Andalucian Christmas sweets. It gives texture and a toasted flavor, says Mila, contrasting it to the buttery, floury base whether that be wheat or almond flour.
    Mila continues to say - next time give Lucca (the cat) a "polvorón," a sweet tiny almond cake drowned in powdered sugar and his mouth will open even wider!

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