March 10, 2021
Drought resistant and cultivated all over the world, the humble sesame seed has been exalted throughout history. The women of Babylon ate the fiber-rich sesame to preserve health and beauty, and the Romans ate the seeds mixed with honey for valor before battles. Used in Ayurveda as medicine for thousands of years, its oil is prized only second to ghee. Plain sesame oil is very commonly used in India not just for cooking but for medicine and massage.
Sesame helps our bodies retain heat, reinforce our blood and strengthen our bones. Being of a warming nature, eating sesame seeds can lubricate our intestines and help with digestion. Sesame jaggery sweets are particularly popular during winter festivals in India.
Every time I visit my Ayurvedic practitioner, she reminds me to chew a handful of sesame seeds daily to help preserve my bones. It’s taken me years to build that habit, and now I look for ways to add sesame to my diet. Instead of nuts or cream, I add the seeds to thicken soups or curries and to pastry sauces. Toasted sesame oil has an entirely different and intriguing flavor — though it is great in Asian stir-frys, sometimes I will make popcorn with it or add it to a pilaf.
These glorious multicolored organic carrots from Animal Farm roasted with cumin seeds, toasted sesame oil and a sprinkle of sesame seeds on top can be enjoyed just on their own or tossed into a salad or pilaf. Serve them warm with a drizzle of honey. Don’t discard the carrot greens; they make a great addition to a salad or stir-fry.
2 small bunches carrots (1 pound)
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 tablespoon honey
Sprinkle of chili powder (optional)
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Peel the carrots, remove the tops, save the greens for later if in good condition, and slice each carrot lengthwise into two. For the carrot tops, pick the leaves off the stem and reserve.
Combine with cumin seeds, toasted sesame oil, and salt and spread on a baking pan.
Cover tightly with foil and bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Check to see if they are almost cooked through. If so, turn the temperature down to 300°F, remove the foil, and finish by roasting the carrots for another 10 minutes.
Serve with a sprinkle of sesame seeds, drizzle of honey, a sprinkle of chili powder, and carrot greens.
These carrots can be served warm, cold or at room temperature.
Serve with a dollop of plain yogurt or sour cream.
Serve with a drizzle of balsamic, saba, or the juice of half a lime or lemon.
Add leftover carrots to a salad.
December 02, 2022