Sabja, also known as basil seeds or tukmaria, are small black seeds derived from the basil plant (Ocimum basilicum). Here is a description of sabja:
Sabja seeds are tiny, round seeds with a glossy black exterior. They resemble chia seeds in appearance but have some differences in texture and flavor. When dry, the seeds are hard and resemble small pellets. However, when soaked in water, they absorb liquid and undergo a unique transformation.
Once soaked, sabja seeds swell and become gelatinous, forming a translucent outer layer with a black seed at the center. The outer layer takes on a slightly slippery and jelly-like texture, while the center remains crunchy. This transformation makes sabja seeds popular for use in various culinary applications.
In terms of taste, sabja seeds have a mild, nutty flavor with a hint of sweetness. They don’t have a strong taste on their own, which makes them versatile and suitable for adding to a wide range of dishes and beverages.
Sabja seeds are often used in Indian and Southeast Asian cuisines. They are commonly added to drinks like falooda, a popular dessert beverage, to provide a unique texture and visual appeal. Sabja seeds are also used in puddings, desserts, smoothies, and even in some savory dishes for their nutritional benefits and textural contrast.
Nutritionally, sabja seeds are a good source of fiber, protein, and essential minerals like calcium and magnesium. They are low in calories and are believed to have some health benefits, including aiding digestion, promoting hydration, and supporting weight management.
In summary, sabja seeds are small, black seeds that transform into gelatinous balls when soaked in water. They have a mild, nutty flavor and are commonly used in various culinary preparations, particularly in drinks and desserts. With their unique texture and nutritional profile, sabja seeds are a popular ingredient in many cuisines.