Tahini is a rich, creamy paste made from ground sesame seeds
oil. It's a staple in Middle Eastern cooking where it's commonly used
to flavor sauces, dressings and appetizer spreads such as baba ghanoush
. Also called sesame butter, tahini is similar to peanut
butter, but thinner in consistency.
Varieties and Buying Tips
Tahini can be purchased at Middle Eastern markets and most supermarkets
in jars or cans. It is
available made from raw or roasted seeds, and in salted and
unsalted varieties. While the ivory-colored Middle Eastern variety is
the tahini of choice, you may also come across an Asian version with a
darker brown color and stronger taste.
You can also make your own tahini recipe
at home. The only ingredients
needed are sesame seeds, salt and light sesame, peanut or vegetable oil
Tahini does not require refrigeration and it can be stored in a cool,
dry place for long periods of time. Because tahini does not contain
emulsifiers, the sesame oil may separate from the solid mixture. To
remix it, turn the jar or can upside down for 30 minutes before using.
• Tahini is best served at room temperature.
• Use it as a sandwich spread, appetizer spread or dip with pita
chips and sliced carrots
• Mix it with onion
or cayenne pepper
seasonings to make a salad dressing.
• Spread it on toast in place of margarine or butter
• Add it to dessert recipes calling for nut butters.
When tahini is not available, peanut butter can be substituted in most recipes.
Try one of our favorite tahini recipes:
Spicy Cold Soba NoodlesTahini Oatmeal Walnut Cookies
View BigOven's tahini recipes