Most people are aware of the nutrition and health benefits of sesame seeds. Primarily an oilseed, sesame is also said to be one of the world’s oldest oil seed crops. Rich in minerals, vitamins, protein and antioxidants, sesame seeds are a welcome addition to many Indian delicacies, mostly because of the nutty flavour and crunchy texture it lends to the food. If you refer to the scriptures, you’ll know that it is considered auspicious to consume sesame seeds during Makar Sankranti, which is also known as Til Sankranti. Besides food, sesame seeds are also used as an essence in medicines, cosmetics and lubricants, and medicines. In Malayalam, sesame seeds are known as ellu, and the sweet balls made from it are called ellunda. For this, sesame seeds are mixed with jaggery syrup to make these delicious homemade goodies. Ellunda is usually eaten as a snack in Kerala. It can be consumed mid-meal or with a hot beverage. Thanks to its unique taste, children also love to eat the sesame seed balls. They are rich in manganese, magnesium, calcium, copper as well as dietary fibre. It also helps in maintaining your cholesterol levels.