October 3, 2014

Wild Black Sesame in Miri

It may surprise many people but the wild black sesame can be found growing in Miri, and in fact it has been harvested by temple friends in Kuching.

I have a few of the plants growing in the compound near my house. So perhaps soon I will be able to harvest a cup or two of the seeds.

Sesame seeds has a nutty taste and are used in many Asian dishes, especially Foochow dishes.

They are also the main ingredients in tahini (sesame seed paste) and the Middle EAstern sweet, halvah.

Zhang Qian, one of my ancestors brought the sesame seeds back to China. He learned about the wonderful seeds when he was inprisoned by the Mongols when he travelled westwards from China. He later opened up the famous Silk Route.

Sesame oil does not become rancid easily. "Open Sesame" a famous phrase from the Arabian Nights reflects the distinguishing feature of the sesame seed pod, which bursts open when it reaches maturity. So I have to keep my eyes open and make sure I save the seeds for propagation.

Sesamun indicum is the scientific name.


Anonymous said...

Burma produces lot of sesame. The sesame oil is used by the Buddhist who are mostly vegetarian.

Ensurai said...

Thanks...Will try to read up about Burmese sesame production.

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