Photos: Chicken biryani topped with yogurt and pepitas. From my own collection. 🙂
Random topic…eat seeds.
I was reading a discussion online the other day and someone was complaining about sesame seed buns. They said they see the seeds as pointless because they offer “no nutritional value.” Really?!
That isn’t true at all! Seeds are very nutritious! They are easy to keep on hand since they store well, and you can add them to just about anything.
Any time you’re wondering about a particular edible seed, look up the nutrition information and surprise yourself with good news.
Seeds, Seeds Everywhere
One of my favorite seeds is pepitas, or shelled pumpkin seeds. They are a pretty green color and have a very mild flavor. I sprinkle them into soups and salads as well as rice dishes, and on pizza. I’d even put them on pop-tarts if only they would stick. 🙂 Pepitas are a great source of magnesium and other minerals.
Another favorite of mine is the black seed, which is popular in South Asian and Middle Eastern dishes. These little seeds impart a unique flavor like nothing else and especially like to add them to mixed vegetables.
In the picture is a chopped-style salad I made while the main dish was cooking. It has cucumbers, radishes, onions, tomatoes, bell peppers, black olives, and a little bit of shredded cilantro. Then I added sliced almonds, a few unsalted pistachios, black seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, and of course, pepitas. Finish with fresh-squeezed lime juice, olive oil, and a little salt.
A lot of people like this type of salad, even if they are not fond of the usual lettuce-based variety. Some use it more like a relish on rice dishes, and it’s a great way to slip some nutrients to people who otherwise refuse to eat these kinds of healthy foods.
I also like cumin seeds, which you can add to things raw, dry roasted, or stir-fried in oil, each giving the seeds a little different flavor. I don’t put these in everything since they are pungent, but I do use them raw in cucumber raita (yogurt condiment), and roasted or fried in lentil soups and stews. They are very fragrant and flavorful.
Try adding pepitas and pistachios to desserts, like pudding or ice cream. The pepitas just add crunch and are fine with sweets as well as savories.
Use nuts and seeds as a garnish, to make dishes look lovely, as well as add nutrition. Pepitas alone can be a nice garnish if you’re taking a dish somewhere and you’re not sure if people have nut allergies, which is what I often do for larger gatherings, just in case.
Where to Buy
I like to order most seeds and nuts from Nuts.com, where everything is fresh and you have the option of choosing organic. For black seeds, you may have to go to a South Asian or Middle Eastern store, but it’s definitely worth it.
Experiment and have fun….and please don’t pick the sesame seeds of your bun! 🙂