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Also known as
Til oil, Gingely oil.
Sesame oil (also known as gingelly oil or til oil) is an edible vegetable oil derived from sesame seeds. Besides being used as a cooking oil in South India, it is often used as a flavor enhancer in Chinese, Korean, and to a lesser extent Southeast Asian cuisines. There are many variations in the colour of sesame oil: cold-pressed sesame oil is almost colourless, while Indian sesame oil (gingelly or til oil) is golden and Chinese sesame oil is commonly a dark brown colour. This dark colour and flavour are derived from roasted/toasted sesame seeds. Despite sesame oil's high proportion(41%) of polyunsaturated (Omega-6 fatty acids), it is least prone, among cooking oils with high smoke points, to turn rancid when kept in the open. This is due to the natural antioxidants present in the oil.
Cold pressed sesame oil has less flavour than the toasted oil, since it is produced directly from raw, rather than toasted seeds. Cold-pressed sesame oil is available in Western health shops. While in most Asian countries, different kinds of hot-pressed sesame oil are preferred.
How to select
Most manufactured sesame oil is sold bottled for cooking use. Look out for a light golden colored oil which should be free from any discoloration, cloudiness or granules. Culinary uses
" Since sesame oil is almost tasteless and odorless, it is a good choice for baking. It is widely used as a salad oil and it is also the main ingredient in the production of margarine
" Sesame oil is used in the manufacture of pickles.
" Light sesame oil has a high smoke point, and is suitable for deep-frying, while heavy (dark) sesame oil (from roasted sesame seeds) has a slightly lower smoke point is unsuitable for deep-frying, instead it can be used for stir-frying of meats or vegetables; making of omelette.
" Most in Asia used Roasted Sesame Oil for seasoning, particularly in East Asian cooking.
" Snacks, baking mixes and crumb coatings for meat and poultry account for few other culinary uses of sesame oil.
How to store
Store the sesame oil in a cool and dark place. Avoid re using the left over oil from deep frying as reheating oil again and again may affect the chemical composition and rancidity quotient of the oil. Unopened bottles, or metal containers, can be kept for about a year. Once they've been opened, though, they should be used within 2 months, after which, they can turn rancid (bad) and shouldn't be consumed. If possible, transfer the oil from a can into a glass bottle to avoid metallic tasting oil; plastic containers shouldn't be used because they may lend off a "plastic" taste to the oil.
" Sesame Oil, healthy palatable food oil, can play a major role in the human diet.
" It is a concentrated source of energy, is very digestible provides essential fatty acids and is a rich source of Vitamin E and polyunsaturated fatty acids, which may help regulate blood cholesterol.
" Sesame oil is high in polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats so it is healthier to use than oils with higher saturated fat levels.
" Sesame oil is reputed to penetrate the skin easily, and is used in India for oil massage
" It is suggested that sesame oil could be used in the treatment of dry nose, reduction of cholesterol levels (due to presence of Lignans which are phytoestrogens), anti-bacterial effects and as a laxative and a remedy for toothaches and gum disease.