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All About Sesame Seeds | Know Your Fine Spice Til (तिल)

Health Benefits of Sesame Seeds or Til

Health Benefits of Sesame Seeds or Til

All About Sesame Seeds (तिल) | Know Your Fine Spice Til (Sesamum indicum)

Know more about sesame seeds or til (Sesamum indicum)

Sesame seeds, safed til, kala til

Sesame seeds or Til (Sesamum indicum) are a reservoir of nutritional components with numerous beneficial effects along with health promotion in humans.

Sesame seeds have one of the highest oil contents of any seed. With a rich, nutty flavor, it is a common ingredient in cuisines across the world.

It is also known as gingelly, til, benne seed and popularly as “Queen of Oilseeds” due to its high degree of resistance to oxidation and rancidity.

Sesame seeds are high in protein, vitamin B1, dietary fiber as well as an excellent source of phosphorous, iron, magnesium calcium, manganese, copper and zinc.

What are the vernacular names for sesame seeds?

The names of sesame seeds or kala til in international languages are given below.

Indian Languages International Languages
Hindi: Til (तिल)
Bengali: Til (তিল)
Tal (તલ)
Kannada: Acchellu (ಅಚ್ಚೆಳ್ಳು), Ellu (ಎಳ್ಳು), Tila (ತಿಲ)
Tael (تِل)
: Thilam (തിലം), Ellu (എള്ള്‌)
Marathi: Til (तीळ)
Oriya: Rasi (ରାସୀ)
Til (ਤਿਲ)
Tila (तिल)
Ellu (எள்ளு)
Nuvvulu (నువ్వులు), Tillu (తిలలు)
Latin (Botanical): Sesamum indicum
Arabic: Juljulan (جُلْجُلَان), Simsim (سِمْسِم)
Bulgarian: Susam (Сусам)
Ji mah (芝麻)
Farsi: Konjed (کنجد)
Sésame, Teel, Till
German: Sesam, Vanglo
Greek: Sesami (Σησάμι), Sousami (Σουσάμι)
Italian: Sesamo
Japanese: Goma (胡麻), Shima (シマ)
Portuguese: Sésamo, Gergelim 
Ajonjolí, Sésamo
: Sesam
Turkish: Susam
Uzbek: Kunjut (Кунжут)

What exactly are sesame seeds?

Get to know more about sesame seeds or til (Sesamum indicum)

Sesame Seeds (Til: तिल) Sesamum indicum are tiny, oil-rich seeds that grow in pods on the Sesamum indicum plant that belongs to the genus Sesamum, also called benne.

Unhulled seeds (black sesame seeds; काला तिल) have the outer, edible husk intact, while hulled seeds (white sesame seeds; सफ़ेद तिल) come without the husk.

Sesame seed is one of the oldest oilseed crops known, domesticated well over 3000 years ago.

Sesame 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 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 seeds occur in many colours depending on the cultivar. The most traded variety of sesame is off-white coloured.

What is the nutritional value of sesame seeds?

Find out about the nutritional value of sesame seeds or til (Sesamum indicum)

Sesame seeds are rich in essential minerals and are a powerhouse of protein for building muscle mass.

They contain Vitamin E & several Vitamin B complexes with a high number of antioxidants, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, anti-cancerous properties.

Sesame seeds contain oil, mineral ash, fibre, soluble carbohydrates & phytate and dietary minerals like magnesium, iron, calcium, zinc and phosphorus.

Sesame seeds are also a great source of essential amino acids including lysine, tryptophan and methionine.

What is the chemical composition of a sesame seeds or til?

Know and understand about chemical composition of a sesame seeds or til (Sesamum indicum)

Sesame seed is rich in oil, contains high amounts of (83-90%) unsaturated fatty acids, mainly linoleic acid (37-47%), oleic acid (35-43%), palmitic (9-11%) & stearic acid (5-10%) with traces of linolenic acid.

The seeds are a rich source of antioxidants and bioactive compounds including phenolics, phytosterols, phytates, PUFA and short chain peptides.

Sesame cake is a rich source of protein, carbohydrate and mineral nutrients.

What is the difference between black sesame and white sesame seeds?

How is black sesame seed different from white sesame seed?

Black Sesame
White Sesame
Colour Unhulled, hence black Hulled, hence white
Seed Black sesame is the entire seed White is the inner part of the seed
Taste Slightly bitter because of hulls Milder, nuttier in taste
Texture Crisper than white No hulls, so less crisp
Usage For savoury dishes For sweetness and delicate dessert flavours
Nutrition Concentrated fibre & calcium. Vitamin E is proportionately less. Concentration is relatively less. Vitamin E is more since most of it is in the white part.

What is the history of sesame seeds or til?

Know more about the origins & the story behind sesame seeds or til (Sesamum indicum)

The sesame plant likely originated in Asia or East Africa, and ancient Egyptians are known to have used the ground seed as grain flour.

The seeds were used by the Chinese at least 5,000 years ago, and for centuries they have burned the oil to make soot for the finest Chinese ink blocks.

Sesame was also found to be grown during ancient Harappan, Mesopotamian, and Anatolian eras for its edible seed and its oil.

Sesamum indicum is one of the oldest cultivated plants in the world. It was a highly prized oil crop of Babylon and Assyria at least 4000 years ago.

In India it was a symbol of immortality and a commercial commodity, traders exported it to Europe via the Red Sea.

Records show that the Egyptians prescribed the sesame as medicine about 1500 BC and used the oil as ceremonial purification.

The Babylonians also used the oil for cooking, sesame in cakes and medicine.

Sesame seeds date back more than 5,000 years and believed to be one of the first condiments as well as one of the first plants to be used for extraction of edible oil.

The earliest recorded use of a spice – sesame seed – comes from an Assyrian myth which claims that the Gods drank sesame wine in the night before they created the earth.

Scheherazade was the first person to give the sesame superhuman powers when she held her Arabian caliph spellbound for one thousand and one nights with her tales of intrigue and adventure.

Because sesame pods readily burst open at the slightest touch when they are ripe, Scheherazade provided Ali Baba with the magic words, “Open Sesame” to instantly open the cave, a robber’s den, in her exciting story about “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves.”

Sesamum is one of the most ancient cultivated crops of India.

The Sesamum seed is considered as an essential grain in Hindu religious ceremonies and has been referred to as Homadhānya and Pitṛtarpaṇa in ancient scripts.

Some are also of the belief that the earliest human migrants perhaps introduced Sesamum into India from Africa.

Charred fossils of sesame at Harappa excavation (c.3600-I7S0 B.c.) indicate that sesame was cultivated during the Indus Valley Civilization.

Widespread cultivation of sesame in both, Asia and Africa since ancient times has rendered it difficult to ascertain its original home.

Sesame is said to have originated from Vishnu’s sweat drops that fell on Earth. In the Veda the nose is often called Tila Puspa or blossom of the Tila plant.

Tila is used in rituals of the dead from very early times in Hindu religion.

This is evident from the Epic Mahabharata – when Bhishma elucidating to a query raised by Yudhisthira in respect of the objects to be dedicated to Pitr that become inexhaustible, explains the offerings.

The Atharva Veda mentions Sesame as a tree and field manure crop. The sesame seeds were in use as far back as 3000 B.C. when the plant was a major source of food, wine and oil, and was guarded by royalty.

During the Vedic ages, it was the only seed used for extraction of oil by the Aryans.

What are the uses of sesame seeds or til?

How are sesame seeds or til (Sesamum indicum) used?

  • Sesame seeds have been grown since antiquity for its seeds, and are used as food and flavouring and from which a prized oil is extracted.
  • Sesame oil is used as a salad oil or cooking oil.
  • It is used for making shortening and margarine.
  • in the manufacture of soaps, pharmaceuticals, and lubricants.
  • Sesame oil is used as an ingredient in cosmetics.
  • The press cake remaining after the oil is expressed is highly nutritious.
  • Sesame leaves on mature plants, which are rich in mucilage, can be used as a laxative as well as a treatment for dysentery and cholera.

What do sesame seeds taste like?

What is the taste of sesame seeds or til?

They’re on hamburger buns, bread, pastries and even your cereal.

Not only do they contain high nutritional value, but these delicate nuts are multi-purpose as they have the power to enhance both sweet and savoury foods.

White sesame seeds are more commonly used than black sesame seeds, and both have different flavours.

The white sesame seeds have a delicate, nutty flavour while the black sesame seeds have a bitter taste and are used primarily for their visual appeal.

How many sesame seeds or til should I use?

What is the the recommended quantity of sesame seeds or til for a day?

Consuming moderate amounts of sesame seeds every day can prevent the body from developing deficiencies that impact bone health.

Excessive consumption can cause bowel and colon irritation, so it is quite important to regulate your consumption of sesame seeds.

However, to accurately pinpoint the quantity of sesame seeds for your daily consumption is quite difficult, as it depends on various factors such as your age, body structure, and activity levels.

But, it must be between 40-50g daily, and in just weeks, you’ll start to feel different.

What are the ayurvedic properties of sesame seeds or til?

Information about ayurvedic details of sesame seeds or til (Sesamum indicum).

From an Ayurvedic perspective, sesame seed is sweet, pungent, astringent, and bitter. Sesame oil, one of the healthiest oils loaded with essential nutrients, is also used as an ingredient. In fact, over 90 percent of Ayurvedic treatments use sesame oil as the base product since it has nourishing, calming and warming nature.

Rasa (Taste): Madhura (Sweet), Tikta (Bitter)
Guna (Qualities): Ushna (Hot), Sukshma (Minute, enters minute body channels), Vyavayi (Undergoes Paka or chemical change), Teekshna (Strong, Piercing), Vishada (Clear), Guru (Heavy), Sara (Eases bowel movements)
Vikasi (Loosens joints), Lekhana (Scraping)
Veerya (Potency): Ushna (Hot)
Vipaka (Taste conversion after digestion): Madhura (Sweet)
Karma (Actions): Balances Vata and Kapha Dosha, Slightly increases Pitta Dosha

What can I use Sesame Seeds for?

Learn how to use sesame seeds or til (Sesamum indicum) in your food & beverages.

Ground Sesame Seeds add nutty depth to various recipes. As a culinary nut, sesame seeds impart a rich, nutty taste that have enhanced the human enjoyment of many foods in cuisines all over the world.

  • Sesame or til seeds are sometimes added to breads, including bagels and the tops of hamburger buns. They may be baked into crackers, often in the form of sticks.
  • In Asia, sesame seeds are sprinkled onto some sushi-style foods.
  • In Japan, whole seeds are found in many salads and baked snacks, and tan and black sesame seed varieties are roasted and used to make the flavouring gomashio.
  • East Asian cuisines, such as Chinese cuisine, use sesame seeds and oil in some dishes, such as dim sum, sesame seed balls and the Vietnamese bánh rán.
  • Sesame flavour (through oil and roasted or raw seeds) is also very popular in Korean cuisine, used to marinate meat and vegetables.
  • Chefs in tempura restaurants blend sesame and cottonseed oil for deep-frying.
  • In most parts of India, sesame seeds mixed with heated jaggery, sugar, or palm sugar is made into balls and bars similar to peanut brittle or nut clusters and eaten as snacks.
  • Black sesame is used in the preparation of chikki and cold-pressed oil.
  • In Assam, black sesame seeds are used to make til pitha and tilor laru (sesame seed balls), as well as used with meat to cook til mangko during bihu.
  • In Punjab and Tamil Nadu, a sweet ball called pinni in Urdu and ell urundai in Tamil, ellunda in Malayalam, yellunde/chigali, (sesame ball, usually in jaggery), is made of its seeds mixed with sugar. It is eaten in various forms during the festival of Makar Sankranti.
  • Sesame oil is used extensively in the cuisine of Tamil Nadu. Milagai podi, a ground powder made of sesame and dry chilli, is used to enhance flavour, and is consumed along with other traditional foods such as idli.
  • In Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, sesame oil is used as a preservative and to temper the heat of their spicy foods, pickles, and condiments.
  • Sesame is a popular and essential ingredient in many Middle Eastern cuisines.
  • Sesame seeds are made into a paste called tahini (used in various ways, including hummus bi tahini) and the Middle Eastern confection halvah.
  • Ground and processed, the seed is also used in sweet confections.
  • Sesame is also a common component of the Levantine spice mixture za’atar, popular throughout the Middle East.

A Few Recipes that Use sesame seeds or til

What Indian desserts are made with til or sesame seeds?

Learn how to use sesame seeds or til for Indian mithai or desserts.

Sesame seed or til is found in many Indian foods and desserts, but somehow, it shows up more during winters.

Certain foods have the potential to keep us warm by just eating them, and sesame seeds are one of them.

Even all the winter festivals like Lohri and Makar Sankranti are celebrated with traditional sweets made with sesame seeds – gajak, rewari, ladoo

Some of these sesame seeds desserts or til ki mithai include til burfi, badam aur til ki pinni, til patti or gajak, til ki ladoo, sesame seeds toffee, sesame peanut brittle.

A lot of these desserts mentioned above use sesame seeds as a base, while some of these may use them as a garnish or a stuffing.

How do I prepare sesame seeds for eating?

Learn how to prepare sesame seeds or til (Sesamum indicum) for your food & beverages.

There are many different ways to enjoy sesame seeds: you can roast them, use them as flavouring in marinades and sauces, or as a spread.

If you add unhulled seeds into your cuisine, your meal may taste slightly bitter. On the other hand, if you wish to have a sweet-tasting dish, hulled sesame seeds will deliver that flavour.

Can I use all parts of sesame seeds ?

What parts of sesame seeds or til (Sesamum indicum) plant are used for food & beverages.

Hulled & unhulled sesame seeds are edible. In some cuisines like the Korean sesame leaves are also called for in some recipes.

How long does sesame seeds last?

Learn about how long does sesame seeds or til (Sesamum indicum) last in storage.

The shelf life of various edible seeds is influenced by a variety of factors such as their date of manufacturing, if they are roasted or salted, how they should be stored and in what temperature.

Sesame seeds are high in oil, and that means they will go rancid at some point. However, they have quite a good shelf life. So it is recommended to buy them, when you want to use them.

In general, raw sesame seeds lasts for about 1-2 years whereas, the roasted sesame seeds last for 6-8 months when stored in the pantry and for about a year in the freezer.

How do I store sesame seeds?

Learn about how to store sesame seeds or til (Sesamum indicum).

Due to the high fat content, sesame seeds become rancid fast especially at room temperature. It is important to store them in airtight containers.

The best way to get the longest shelf life possible out of your sesame seeds is by storing them in an airtight container such as glass jars.

Stored them in a cool, dry cupboard or pantry, in the refrigerator, or even in the freezer. Raw sesame seeds in particular tend to last longer if refrigerated or frozen.

Freezing sesame seeds causes no adverse effects, and you can usually use them right out of the freezer, without needing to thaw them first.

Sesame seeds garnish on vegetables

Is there a substitute for sesame seeds or til?

Learn how to use a substitute for sesame seeds or til (Sesamum indicum) if unavailable

If the recipe you want to make calls for sesame seeds but you don’t have any, don’t worry. Here are some best substitutes for sesame seeds or til.

  • Poppy Seeds – Baking or roasting brings out the nutty and spicy notes that are like those from sesame seeds. As a result of the similar flavours, poppy and sesame seeds are often used in similar applications.
  • Flax Seeds – Flax seeds are known for their nutritional value as they are high in Omega 3s and protein. In addition to their high nutritional value, they provide the same nutty notes that you would get from sesame seeds.
  • Sunflower Seeds – Sunflower seed kernels are slightly larger than sesame seeds, but have a similar mild nutty flavor. They will also provide a satisfying crunch to dishes just like sesame seeds.
  • Chopped Peanuts An equivalent quantity of chopped peanuts can be an effective alternative to sesame seeds if you are looking for a nutty flavour and are not too worried about how they look in the recipe.

Where do I buy sesame seeds or til from?

Where to locate sesame seeds or til (Sesamum indicum) in a Grocery Store?

You can located sesame seeds at the grocery store in the spice aisle.

For convenient shopping, check out Amazon for bulk or retail buying of sesame seeds (which can be a lot cheaper) as well as tons of different brands.: India | USA

What are the health benefits of sesame seeds ?

Learn more about health benefits of sesame seeds or til (Sesamum indicum)

There are significant health benefits of sesame seeds. From preventing diabetes and cardiovascular diseases to promoting bone health, sesame seeds provide a host of health benefits.

Sesame seeds are an excellent source of copper, calcium, dietary fibre, iron, vitamin B1, phosphorus, zinc, manganese, selenium, molybdenum, and magnesium.

  1. Health benefits of sesame seeds as a rich source of protein – Sesame Seeds or Til are inherently blessed with good protein levels. 100 grams of sesame seeds contain 18 grams of protein which makes up to 32% of Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) requirement.
  2. Health benefits of til in managing diabetes – Multiple studies have claimed that eating sesame seeds or their oil helps regulate blood sugar. Til acts as an organic blood sugar regulator due to its low carbohydrates, high protein, and healthy fats content. Additionally, the presence of pinoresinol plays an essential role in maintaining and regulating blood sugar levels.
  3. Health Benefits of sesame seeds in improving body’s immunity – With all the coronavirus pandemic going around the world, immunity has become an important topic. Sesame seeds help you in building up your immunity with their power-packed minerals and vitamins.
  4. Health benefits of til seeds in skin protection – With the presence of natural antioxidants and natural SPF, sesame keeps the skin protected from the sun’s UV rays as well as from free radicals.
  5. Health benefits of sesame seeds to check blood pressure – You already know that til seeds are rich in magnesium. But, did you know that they help to prevent hypertension and blood pressure? Polyunsaturated fats and the compound present in sesame oil are known to keep blood pressure levels in check.
  6. Health benefits of til in lowering your cholesterol – Sesame or Til seeds are abundant with Sesamin and Sesamolin – both belonging to the fibre group, lignans. Til seeds also contain phytosterols, possessing cholesterol-like structures. Hence, including these seeds in the diet could definitely help to do away with high blood cholesterol levels.
  7. Health benefits of sesame seeds in supporting bone health – Sesame seeds contain zinc in very good amounts, a mineral that stimulates density of your bones saving them from osteoporosis. Sesame seeds also contain calcium that is essential for bone health.
  8. Health benefits of til seeds in digestion – Sesame seed helps in good digestive system, as they are good source of fibre. Fibre helps in smoothing the functioning of the intestine, facilitating the flushing out of waste, and thus offering guaranteed relief from constipation.
  9. Health benefits of sesame seeds in for maintaining oral health – Sesame Oil can help in maintaining oral health by removing dental plaque and teeth whitening. Gargling regularly with sesame seed oil can lower streptococcus mutants present in teeth and mouth saliva.
  10. Sesame seed is also known to boost energy levels. It nourishes the brain, and slows down the ageing process. Consuming these seeds regularly can help combat backache, painful joints, and joints weakness in a better way.
Health Benefits of Sesame Seeds or Til

Sesame Seeds or Til Seeds - Toasted Sesame Seeds | Easy Toasting of Sesame Seeds

Sesame Seeds or Til Seeds - Toasted Sesame Seeds | Easy Toasting of Sesame Seeds - Sesame seeds or Til are safe to eat raw, however toasted sesame seeds enhances their nutty flavour and crunchy texture.
Cuisine Indian
Keyword Bhuna Til, Sesame Seeds, Til, Toasted Sesame Seeds
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 20 Servings
Calories 90kcal
Author Sumit Malhotra


  • 100 grams White Sesame Seeds Safed Til
  • 3 minutes Heat


  • Soak and rinse sesame seeds or til
  • In a medium skillet over medium heat, heat the sesame seeds until golden brown and fragrant
  • Stir occasionally, about 3-5 minutes.
  • Transfer to a plate to cool.
  • Store in an airtight container in the pantry for 6 months or freezer storage bag for up to 1 year.


  • Be careful and keep a watch so that the seeds don't get burnt.

Toasted sesame seeds

What are the side effects of sesame seeds or til?

What are the risks associated with sesame seeds or til?

Sesame is not considered as a major food allergens, however, a sesame allergy may cause a life threatening allergic reaction. So, sesame seeds should also be consumed in moderation.

The seeds contain a lot of fibre, that may increase the risk of bowel obstruction or colon irritation in people with a benign anastomotic stricture.


All About sesame seeds or til | Uses & Benefits of Til

Sesame seeds, safed til, kala til

Sesame seeds or Til (Sesamum indicum) are a reservoir of nutritional components with numerous beneficial effects along with health promotion in humans.

Sesame seeds have one of the highest oil contents of any seed. With a rich, nutty flavor, it is a common ingredient in cuisines across the world.

It is also known as gingelly, til, benne seed and popularly as “Queen of Oilseeds” due to its high degree of resistance to oxidation and rancidity.

Sesame seeds are high in protein, vitamin B1, dietary fiber as well as an excellent source of phosphorous, iron, magnesium calcium, manganese, copper and zinc.


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