Balajee from Cheyyar, Chengelpet district explains how he uses only country, non-gmo seeds to extract sesame oil.
According to him:
Today we are going to talk about gingelly/sesame oil.
First let us look at the seed. There are two varieties of seeds. One is country seed and the other one is hybrid. The fundamental difference between the two is that the country seed is high in nutritional value but yield is very less, whereas in the hybrid variety, the yield is high but we cannot expect high nutritional value. We need high nutritional value diet.
We cultivate and extract only using the country seed. We do not even touch the hybrid variety.
The cultivation period for sesame is “Chitirai pattam”, i.e., the cultivation period is between March - April. We sow the seed in march and the harvest in done at the end of May, typically 3 month crop cycle. We sow using traditional method utilizing the bull. Then on the 3 - 6th day, the seed sprouts. Many people are of the opinion that sesame requires a lot of water., but that is not true. This is a cash crop. Today we need a lot of sesame crop. So far, we have not come across a situation where the soil quality has come down. Using traditional methods, we are able to get good yield so far. Once we enrich the soil, it never fails in yield.
What is so special about our oil - every process is organically managed. Even the seed is organic. We source the seed from farmers, who harvest the seed organically. We use natural ingredients for pest control like - “Jeevamridham”, “Panchakaviya” and for insects, “Pattilakarisal”. We obtain all the natural fertilizers through cow excrete. I have about 10 country cows. I use the manure from the cow dung. The cow dung is first spread at the bottom and them husk is put on top to get the sprouts. Then water is given to the soil. I do only one cultivation of sesame crop. Even the cultivation is a manual process.
In inorganic process, the weeds are weeded out using chemical fertilizers. These are slow poison. We are very strict about not usng any chemicals. If you really want to taste good sesame oil, then you have to do so which are organically cultivated and cold pressed. Even the seed is very important.
There are many health benefits of organic sesame oil. They reduce the body heat and are loaded with lot of minerals. The sesame seed is very tiny, but the health benefits are enormous. Today even during Diwali, we are told to take sesame oil bath. Atleast on this one day, we are told to bring the heat down. Other health benefits include removing eye irritation. Curing ulsers and it also takes care of other organs which are inflamed due to heat in the body.
Today the day time summer temperatures are soaring to 40+ degrees. It is very important to maintain the body temperature. We add lemon to prevent the bitterness. We also add a little jaggery and tender coconut to maintain the heat balance while oil extraction. We have to make sure that the oil does not get heated during oil extraction, so we use only traditional cold press method. It takes around 4 months from sowing to oil extraction. So a farmer needs to spend this amount of time to get the yield. Our true income is our customer satisfaction.
The oil is extracted using the Vaagai bark. This is done so that the aroma, taste and nutrition is not lost during extraction process.Then after that the oil starts to get bitter. We do not use any kind of preservatives. So after extraction, we package the oil which our customers consume. The best way to check for oil quality is to experience ourself. If the oil does not create any digestive issues, then the oil is good.
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