Tahini (What Is It and How to Make it at Home)


Tahini — you’ve probably come across it in your favorite hummus or drizzled over that delicious falafel sandwich. For the uninitiated, tahini is a creamy paste made primarily from sesame seeds. But what exactly is it, and why is it causing such a stir in the culinary world? Let’s dive into this tasty and versatile condiment.

Good news! Tahini sauce is very easy to make and has just 3 ingredients: Sesame seeds, good-quality olive oil, and salt. Within 10 minutes, you can make rich creamy tahini sauce at home that’s perfect as a side drizzled over your favorite roast veggies or meat dishes or scooped up with some warm naan bread or pita. 

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What is Tahini?

Tahini sauce is a creamy, nutty paste made primarily from toasted sesame seeds (sometimes raw seeds but toasted they’re more flavorsome). Think of it as the peanut butter of the Middle East. Simple yet profound in flavor, it often includes additional elements like lemon juice, garlic, and salt to enhance its taste.

Tahini has been gracing dishes for thousands of years. Ancient Egyptians were known to use it in their recipes, and it’s common in Turkish and Greek cuisine today. In fact, its popularity has spread like wildfire across continents, making it a favorite in kitchens around the world.

Of course, it’s found in hummus and other dips, but tahini is also great in salad dressings, drizzled over roasted veggies, used in a marinade, or spread over toast with a little honey.


How to Make Tahini at Home

Equipment

  • Skillet or frying pan
  • Food processor

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of hulled white or black sesame seeds (like Anthony’s Hulled Sesame Seeds from Amazon) 
  • 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil (mild variety)
  • ½ tsp salt 

Method

  1. Toast your raw sesame seeds in a dry skillet or pan over medium heat, stirring constantly until they turn golden brown. This should take a minute or two. Do not let them burn.
  2. Transfer the toasted sesame seeds to a food processor. Add a pinch of salt and blend for 1 minute.
  3. Add the olive oil and blend until a creamy, smooth paste forms. This process may take up to 5 minutes. Stop and scrape the side of the food processor if you need to. 

Storing: Once done, transfer your homemade tahini to an airtight container. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two months. Just give it a good stir before serving if the oil separates.

Ingredients to make tahini are laid out on a chopping board.

Health Benefits of Tahini

Not just a tasty treat, tahini is packed with nutrients. Tahini has essential vitamins and minerals such as copper, manganese, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, vitamin B1, zinc, molybdenum, selenium, and dietary fiber.

From improving heart health to supporting better skin it can also boost your immunity and even help in regulating cholesterol levels. It also promotes brain health, prevents high blood pressure, and has antioxidant properties.


Tahini Sauce FAQs

How long does it take to make homemade Tahini sauce? 

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 3 minutes
  • Total time: 8 minutes

Can I make tahini with black sesame seeds?

Absolutely! Black sesame seeds give a deeper, slightly different flavor but are equally delicious.

Is tahini similar to peanut butter?

Texture-wise, they’re similar. However, tahini has a nuttier and slightly bitter taste, while peanut butter is often sweeter.

Does tahini contain allergens?

Tahini is made from sesame seeds, which are known allergens. Always check with a doctor if you’re unsure.

Can I use tahini in baking?

Yes. Tahini can be a wonderful ingredient in baked goods, adding moisture and a unique flavor profile.

How do I know if my tahini has gone bad?

A sour smell, mold, or an off taste are clear indicators. Always ensure the jar is sealed properly after use. Always store refrigerated.

Why is my tahini bitter?

Sometimes, if the seeds are over-roasted, you might end up with a more bitter tahini (remember, it’s fairly better on the whole). Just add a dash of honey or maple syrup to balance things out.

Which is the best oil to use?

We use extra virgin olive oil because it’s so healthy. Just make sure to use a mild-flavored variety. You want the oil to taste as neutral as possible for tahini. You can also use your preferred oil so long as it’s not too overpowering.


Ingredients to make tahini are laid out on a chopping board.

Tahini (What Is It and How to Make it at Home)

Byron
Tahini sauce is very easy to make and has just 3 ingredients: Sesame seeds, good quality olive oil, and salt. Within 10 minutes, you can make rich creamy tahini sauce at home that’s perfect as a side drizzled over your favorite roast veggies or meat dishes or scooped up with some warm naan bread or pita.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course dip, dips and sauces, sauce
Cuisine Greek, Lebanon, Middle East
Servings 50 ml

Equipment

  • Skillet or frying pan
  • Food processor

Ingredients
  

  • ½ cup
  • 1-2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • Pinch of salt to taste

Instructions
 

  • Toast your raw sesame seeds in a dry skillet or pan over medium heat, stirring constantly until they turn golden brown. This should take a minute or two. Do not let them burn.
    Toasted sesame seeds in a pan.
  • Transfer the toasted sesame seeds to a food processor. Add a pinch of salt and blend for 1 minute.
    toasted sesame seeds in a blender
  • Add the olive oil and blend until a creamy, smooth paste forms. This process may take up to 5 minutes. Stop and scrape the side of the food processor if you need to.
    Ingredients to make tahini are laid out on a chopping board.

Video

Keyword 10-minute recipe, dips, Greek, olive oil, salt, sauces, Sesame seeds, Tahini

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