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Sesame and Jaggery are magical

Sesame and Jaggery – a combination that will rock your tastebuds and pack your body with goodness and warmth! If you haven’t already introduced these beauties into your diet, then this is the perfect time to do so. In India, this heavenly combination is recommended for consumption in the cold winter month as parents and grandparents believe that these together keep the children (and adults) healthy and strong; now, who would want to argue with at? I wouldn’t…

In Ayurveda, Sesame is considered to be an extremely beneficial and strong medicine as it is known to have all four properties (hot, bitter, sweet and pungent). Did you know that the gorgeous loping Black Sesame seeds are packed with goodness, followed by the more commonly used white sesame seeds and the ones that are meant to have little or no goodness are the pretty, red sesame seeds. In India we tend to use the white ones quite a lot; perhaps it is time to add a sprinkle of the black ones to our food? Also, at this point, a quick mention of using a good quality sesame seed oil would make sense. It’s Ayurveda’s most favourite oil for reducing ‘vata’. It’s meant to be magical for balancing the digestive fire (‘agni’), skin and hair. So, remember to get one when you go shopping next time for your kitchen cupboard.

I love ‘gud’ (jaggery). It’s sweet, it’s almost like a sticky toffee and the best part for children is that parents have been very rarely heard to tell a child off for eating it (when did a sweet meet the same treatment? never!). I must mention that  jaggery is loaded with iron and works beautifully well with the wonderful sesame seeds. Apparently, it was the first ever ‘spice’ to be exported from India! and even today is used extensively in Indian (infact a lot of Asian cooking) and always has had a place in Ayurvedic medicine because of its wonderful healing properties. Jaggery is rather kind to your body as it has an amazing ability to cleanse your body, it helps the digestion process, of course, it acts as a natural sweetener, infact one that is packed with iron and other vitamins. All this goodness and that too with a beautiful taste, what’s not to like about this lovely ingredient?

I am now going to suggest some extremely simply ways to include these two magical ingredients in your diet from today. Here goes:

  • Sprinkle sesame seeds to steamed broccoli along with a squeeze of lemon juice
  • Add some sesame seeds to potato curry and up the ‘deliciousness’ factor straight away
  • Buy (or make) a jar of Tahini (sesame seed paste) and spread it in a wrap or a toast
  • Eat a tiny piece of jaggery after your meal and see your digestive juices get to work
  • When making a South-Indian or a Thai curry, throw in some jaggery instead of sugar
  • When making toffees or cakes, use melted jaggery and enjoy the magical taste

Alternatively, put on your apron, march straight into your kitchen and rustle up these yummy recipes to ensure consumption of sesame and jaggery. The choice is yours:

The best 'trail mix' ever - peanuts, sesame seeds, jaggery, coconut and whatever you want to add ... via

The best ‘trail mix’ ever – peanuts, sesame seeds, jaggery, coconut and anything else… via

Walnuts and Jaggery - just what 'goodness' is meant to taste like via

Walnuts and Jaggery – just what ‘goodness’ is meant to taste like via

A little sticky dish with all the goodness of Sesame seeds via
Delicious sticky cauliflower dish with all the goodness of Sesame seeds (replace maple syrup with jaggery, of course!) via

Who can ever refuse a 'til gud' laddoo on a cold day? via

Who can ever refuse a ’til gud’ laddoo on a cold day? via

Bite into a 'til chikki' and feel the love via

Bite into a ’til chikki’ and feel the love via

If the above featured ‘gajak’, the ‘ladoo’ the sticky cauliflower or the simple ‘trail mix’ got your taste buds all excited, then, this cold month of January is the best time to get stocking up on these two. Get shopping and protect yourself and your family from the bitter cold.

Wishing you all a tasty, healthy and a ‘craft and artisan aware‘ 2016! Hope you are enjoying the lovely festivities and the kite flying too!

Shilpa xx

Cover Image: via1, via3, via4