Tahini, sometimes called tahina, is widespread throughout the Middle East. This tangy, simple, flavour-packed sauce is made from sesame seeds and is a staple in many cuisines, especially in the Mediterranean. Our article is the right place for you if you're unfamiliar with tahini. We'll discuss everything you need to know about tahini.
What is Tahini?
Tahina, or tahini, is an essential ingredient in many Middle Eastern cuisines, and it's used in a wide array of sweet and savoury dishes. It's a paste made from sesame seeds. Tahini is essentially toasted sesame seeds that have been crushed extremely fine. Like most seeds and nuts, tahini has a significant fat content in the form of oil. When you heat and crush the sesame seeds, this oil seeps out and forms a nut butter. So tahini is a sesame nut butter, unlike other nut butter though this has a runny texture. In terms of flavour, tahini is bitter, extremely nutty and has a slight umami flavour. Because of its strong flavour, it’s nearly always diluted when used.
One tablespoon (15 grams) of tahini contains the following nutrients:
Protein: 3 grams
Carbs: 3 grams
Fat: 8 grams
Fibre: 2 grams
Copper: 27% of the Daily Value (DV)
Selenium: 9% of the DV
Phosphorus: 9% of the DV
Iron: 7% of the DV
Zinc: 6% of the DV
Calcium: 5% of the DV
How to make tahini
Tahini, an essential ingredient in Middle Eastern staples like hummus and baba ganoush, is incredibly easy to make. All you need are sesame seeds and oil. Salt heightens the flavour of the sauce but is completely optional.
Here is a quick tahini recipe:
Two cups of sesame seeds
Six tablespoons of olive oil (any light oil will do)
Place the sesame seeds in a dry saute pan. Cove over medium heat until golden, stirring constantly. Allow to cool. Then grind in a food processor until you obtain a crumbly paste. Drizzle in a bit of oil to thin it out into saucy consistency.
Ways to use tahini
Most people know it only as an ingredient in hummus and baba ghanoush. But tahini is full of potential. It has a delicate roasted sesame flavour without the sweetness typical of many nuts and seed butter. There are plenty of ways to use tahini. Here are some examples:
It can be spread on toast as an alternative to PB&J – perhaps with a bit of honey or agave syrup – and enjoyed at breakfast.
Use it straight, or add lemon juice and smoked paprika to it for a mild condiment on meat.
It can be used to make tarator sauce, a popular multipurpose sauce that is particularly tasty for dipping grilled chicken or vegetables.
Similarly to peanut butter, tahini adds flavour and thickens soups.
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