OIL SEEDS

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Flax Seeds

Flax seeds also known as Linseed, Alsi, and by its botanical name Linum Usitatissimum. It is native to the region extending from the eastern Mediterranean to India and was probably first domesticated in the Fertile Crescent. Flax was extensively cultivated in India. In a prehistoric cave in the Republic of Georgia dyed flax fibers have been found that date to 34,000 BC. Flax is an erect annual plant with slender stems. In addition to referring to the plant itself, the word “flax” may refer to the unspun fibers of the flax plant. Flax seeds come in two basic varieties: brown and yellow or golden. Most types have similar nutritional characteristics and equal amounts of short-chain omega-3 fatty acids. The exception is a type of yellow flax called Linola or solin, which has a completely different oil profile and is very low in omega-3. Although brown flax can be consumed as readily as yellow, and has been for thousands of years, it is better known as an ingredient in paints, fiber and cattle feed. Flax seeds produce a vegetable oil known as flaxseed or linseed oil, which is one of the oldest commercial oils. Solvent-processed flax seed oil has been used for centuries as a drying oil in painting and varnishing. One hundred grams of ground flax seed supplies about 450 kilo-calories, 41 grams of fat, 28 grams of fiber, and 20 grams of protein.

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Groundnut

Groundnut’s botanical name is Arachis hypogaea. Groundnut also known as peanut or the gooberand taxonomically classified as Arachis hypogaea, is a legume crop grown mainly for its edible seeds. It is widely grown in the tropics and subtropics, being important to both small and large commercial producers. It is classified as both a grain legume and, because of its high oil content, an oil crop. World annual production of shelled peanuts was 42 million tons approx. As commonly found among crop plants, peanut pods develop underground rather than aboveground. It is this characteristic that the botanist Linnaeus used to assign the specific name hypogaea, which means “under the earth”.

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Melon Seeds (Magaz Tarbooz)

Magaj usually is dried ‘kharbooj-ke-beej’ (melon seeds). You can grind the magaj and add it to your gravy to make it richer/thicker. Magaj are also used in making mithai (sweets) and thandaai. Magaj are high in good fatty acids, and proteins. A cream white shell with a soft oval kernel inside, Magaz is the hindi name for muskmelon seeds. These can be dried at home (cleansed thoroughly and sun dried) or you can get them pre-packaged. White melon seeds are more prevalent in Indian cooking rather than water melon seeds.

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Mustard Seeds

Mustard seeds botanical name is Brassica nigra. In Indian cooking black mustard seeds are more commonly used but black seeds contain a higher proportion of the volatile mustard oil and strongest flavor. The larger yellow variety known as white mustard are much less pungent. Powdered mustard has no aroma when dry, but a hot flavor is released when it is mixed with water. The seeds can be put whole into very hot oil and popped. Raw food can be cooked in this flavored oil or it can be poured over some dishes just before serving. Mustard helps emulsify liquids used in salad dressing recipes to help blend oil and vinegar and add a spicy zip. Mustards seeds are a popular addition to dishes such as vegetables, beans, pastries and pickles.

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Natural Sesame Seeds

Natural sesame seeds botanical name is Sesamum indicum. Natural sesame seeds in its natural form are available in whitish natural sesame seed, natural black sesame seed, etc. with 99.99% purity. Natural sesame seed is an important nutritional additive to salads and dressings. It is widely used to decorate bakery products such as bread, breadsticks, cookies and candies and as a garnish on pasta and vegetables. It is also used in curry dishes.

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Hulled Sesame Seeds

Hulled sesame seed botanical name is Sesamum indicum. Hulled sesame is pearly white in colour. Hulling or decorticating is a process of removing the outer husk of sesame seeds. It has a rich, nut-like flavor when roasted. Hulled sesame seeds are widely used in bakery and confectionary industries. Sesame Seeds can be slightly browned or cooked with other ingredients fo a nice crunchy texture. One of the oldest seeds known to man, Sesame Seeds are used extensively in Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Greek and Asian cuisine. Sesame Seeds when ground can be made into tehina paste and halva. Add to cookie, pastry, and cake recipes or use it as the main ingredient in making candy. Throw some over vegetables or top a casserole or baked chicken with Sesame Seeds before baking.

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Soybean

Soybean botanical name is Glycine Max. Soybean has taken the place of meat in the diet of Chinese, Japanese and other Asian cultures. Its notable characteristics are its large proportion of assailable protein and fat and its lack of starch and small content of sugar. Soya nuggets/chunks or “Bari” is commonly referred to as vegetarian meat. It is prepared from defatted (DOC) soya flour by the process of extrusion cooking. During the process, the protein in the flour undergoes structural changes and forms a fiber like network. When soaked in water, the textured nuggets absorb the water and develop meat like and chewy characteristics (hence the reference to “vegetarian meat).

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Yellow Mustard Seeds

Yellow Mustard Seed is botanically called Brassica alba (also sometimes identified as Sinapis alba or Brassica hirta). Yellow mustard is a flowering plant and other members of this family include black mustard, brown mustard, horseradish and wasabi. Yellow Mustard seeds or mustard powder can be used as a condiment in a variety of dishes. Mustard seeds can be used as is or can be roasted in a skillet. While dried mustard powder does not have a very strong quality, mixing it with water initiates an enzymatic process that enhances its pungency and heat. To moderate its sharp flavor, you can either add some very hot water or an acidic substance such as vinegar, either of which will stop the enzymatic process.

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