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Recipes - Open Sesame

Nirmala Garimella

Open Sesame
Sesame Seeds apart from being a condiment is a treasure trove of intoxicating flavors. In accordance with ancient belief that certain food affects body temperatures, traditional dishes are made to mark the onset of winter and summer in India. From the popular ‘Til Gul Bol’ in Maharashtra, to the discs of sugared sesame called 'revadi,' their cooking releases their distinctly nutty and sweet flavor.

 From chutneys to powders and seasonings to gravies, sesame seeds offer the discerning cook a variety of options in the kitchen. Sesame oil used in cooking and in pickles adds a lot of flavor to dishes. As it is unsaturated and doe not have cholesterol it is good for health.Roasted sesame seeds enhances the flavor and the seeds stay fresh longer.

 Our guest contributors for this issue are Sudha Balasuryan and Geeta Kannan, Lexington, MA who share their recipe for Sesame Rice and Pratima Kopakka of Rhode Island who gave us the recipe for Sesame Chutney and Arvi Pulusu , an Andhra favorite.

Sesame rice

Rice – 1 cup
Sesame seed – 4 tsps
Red chillies – 2
Urad dal – 4 tsps
Grated coconut – 4 tsps
Sesame oil – 2 tbsps
Mustard seeds- 1 tsp
Hing – 1 tsp
Cashewnuts – 5 pieces
Curry leaves – one strand
Salt to taste


Cook one cup of rice and spread it on a flat dish to allow it to cool.  Add 2 tsps of sesame oil to the rice and mix thoroughly.  Dry roast the sesame seeds and grind it to a powder.  Keep this aside.  Heat one tsp of oil and roast the coconut, red chillies and urad dal till they turn light brown.  Grind this into a fine powder.  Mix the powders well with the rice and add salt to taste.  Heat oil for seasoning.  Add the mustard seeds, hing, cashewnuts and curry leaves.  Garnish the rice with the seasoning.

Sesame Chutney


Sesame seeds – ½ cup roasted and ground
Green chilies – 3 to 4
Turmeric – 1 tsp
Cilantro – ¼ cup
Tamarind paste – 2 tbsp
Salt to taste


Grind all the above ingredients together with a little water. Heat oil for seasoning. Season with 1 tsp cumin seeds, mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds and curry leaf. Goes well with Idlis and dosas.

Arvi Pulusu


Arvi (a tube vegetable found in Indian groceries store and specialty stores) – 2 lb
Sesame seeds – 3 tbsp roasted and ground
Coriander powder – 1 tbsp
Tamarind pate – 2 tbsp
Shahjeera -1tsp
Cinnamon Stick – 1
Chilly powder – 2 tsp
Turmeric = 1 tsp
Sugar – 2 tsp
Salt to taste
Oil for seasoning


Boil and peel the skin of the Arvi pieces. Cut into small cubes. In a pan heat oil and season with shahjeera, cinnamon stick and add the arvi pieces. Fry till slightly brown and then add the tamarind paste, red chili powder, salt and turmeric and 1 cup of water. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add the sesame powder and the coriander powder and the sugar in the end. Cook for 5 minutes and serve with rice or parathas.

To share your favorite sesame recipes please send it to us at editors@lokvani.com


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