I'm not having fun doing this post because of various reasons. I'm agonised about whether it will go through, and I just discovered that posting through Flickr is eating up the right side of the photo. That means another round of help forums and I'm really tired of that, what with all the trouble Blogger is giving me publishing photos! So I'll go straight to the recipe.
Sesame seeds – 200 gm
Onions – 5 (big), chopped
Oil – 8 tsp
Green chillies – 6, minced
Salt – to taste
Chilli powder – 1-1/2 tsp
Turmeric – ½ tsp
Curry leaves, chopped coriander – a little
Garam masala/curry powder – ½ tsp (optional)
Wash and soak the sesame seeds for 30 minutes or more. Grind into a fine paste (well, as fine as you can).
Heat the oil in a pan, fry the onions and green chillies well.
Now add the salt, chilli powder and turmeric and turn the heat down to the lowest setting.
Now add this paste, curry leaves and coriander to the onions in the pan, give it a quick and thorough stir (be careful) and add the curry powder if you’re using it. Remove from the heat.
Don’t ignore it or take it easy while it’s in the pan – it will go from nutty and sweet to bitter in a jiffy! The book says it is supposed to taste sweet. I, of course, took my own sweet time to take it off the fire – but it was much better than my first attempt.
The solution I mentioned above: the key words are ‘quick and thorough stir’. A couple of swishes of the ladle, and please turn off the heat, you can continue mixing it later if you feel the spices haven’t melded for a uniform colour.
I really don’t have any information on the history of this dish or where it’s made, in which part of Andhra Pradesh. Definitely not where I’m from, what we mostly see there of sesame is something called a ‘jeedi’, a hard ball of candy made with jaggery. And, of course, gingelly oil, which is extracted from sesame seed. And as a sprinkling for ariselu (adirasam in Tamil). So maybe this is from Telangana or Rayalaseema where sesame is used more widely to give body to curry bases, as in the famous Mirchi Ka Salan of Hyderabad.
I love its warm, mellow, nutty taste, but be aware that it’s one of the most notorious allergens the world knows!
This is to be eaten with rice!
I’m sending this off to Latha of Masala Magic who’s hosting RCI-AP this month.
Regional Cuisines of India Sesame Seed