Sesame seed is one of the oldest oilseed crops known, domesticated well over 3000 years ago that are primarily found in Africa, but also grow in smaller numbers on the Indian subcontinent. Sesame oil, or gingelly oil, is an edible oil that is derived from sesame seeds. Sesame seeds are small, yellowish-brown seeds Sesame oil has a distinct nutty, flavorful taste and is considered a healthier alternative to other vegetable oils because of its anti-inflammatory properties. It is said that sesame oil was first extracted during the Indus Valley Civilization and thereon was introduced to other parts of Asia and the world. More than 85% production of sesame comes from West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Sesame oil (ellenne in Kannada) is a flavour booster and the distinct nutty taste blends in well with various mixes of spices.
Today, it is deemed as one of the healthiest oils, loaded with essential nutrients. In Ayurveda, sesame oil is valued for its medicinal properties. It is said to be good for skin, and often used for massages as it penetrates deep into the skin to provide nourishment and helps relieve stress. It is considered to be good for the hair too, and also used as a carrier oil for different cosmetics. Its oil seeds are rich in omega-6 fatty acids, flavonoid phenolic antioxidants, vitamins and dietary fiber which possess many health promoting benefits.