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In most Indian households, you will often find a bottle of sesame oil stored in a corner of the kitchen shelf. We have a certain fondness for it, and use it lovingly while preparing our precious pickles or special subzis. It is a flavour booster and the distinct nutty taste blends in well with the various mixes of spices that are synonymous with Indian cooking. It is said that sesame oil was first extracted during the Indus Valley Civilization and thereon was introduced to other parts of Asia and the world. Today, it is deemed as one of thehealthiest oils, loaded with essential nutrients.

Compared to other cooking oils available in the Indian market, sesame oil somehow lags behind in popularity. We mostly use it for specific recipes and not as an everyday option. Perhaps this is to do with its relatively low smoke point as opposed to the use of high heat while preparing Indian dishes. Sesame oil is available in two different varieties – light sesame oil which is extracted from ripened sesame seeds, has a pretty amber colour and can be used for deep-frying; and dark sesame oil which is extracted from roasted sesame seeds, is brownish in colour and can be used for stir-frying and pickle making.

1464602888-R.K. Beriwal
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In Ayurveda, sesame oil is valued for its medicinal properties. It is said to be good for the skin, and often used for massages as it penetrates deep into the skin to provide nourishment and helps relieve stress. It is considered to be good for the hair as well, and also used as a carrier oil for different cosmetics.

While it requires a little ‘getting used to’, sesame oil is unique in its characteristics and once you start cooking with it, you will learn that it can be used in many interesting ways to spruce up your everyday dishes. Besides adding an extra dose of flavour

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  • "Oral Hygiene: Oil pulling with sesame oil reduces toothache by combating the plaque and boosts oral health."
  • "Reduces Blood Pressure: Loaded with magnesium, sesame oil lowers blood pressure, especially in diabetic patients"
  • "Relief from Radiation Damage: DNA tends to undergo damage with radiation damage. Sesamol helps extend life by protecting your vital organs"

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