I like snacking on hummus, especially in the evening, with a little drink or maybe while cooking something for the evening meal. I do buy it sometimes, the hummus, I mean, but as with many things, I prefer to make it myself. I like to be able to understand what’s in it without a chemistry teacher, if you follow my drift. Simple as that! One of the things that is commonly associated with hummus is tahini – a sesame seed paste, I’ll show you how to make your own, homemade tahini in only 15 minutes and tens of ways to use it.
Homemade tahini = sesame seeds, oil & salt
Tahini has been around for at least 7 centuries and I’m sure that today it has more uses than originally anticipated! When paired with other ingredients it becomes a dressing, a dip, a sauce, or a part of a cake, or even lovely, rich and creamy hot chocolate. No kidding, with a spoonful or two of tahini you’ll add a taste of the oriental/Asian flare and a new definition to your dish.
Homemade tahini lasts in the fridge for months, so why not make your own and use it’s twist in everyday cooking?
In the Middle East, where it most likely comes from (even Wikipedia is not quite certain about the origins), tahini is used in sauces served often alongside meats. In Israel, the traditional falafel and shwarma would just not do without the tahini topping. You’ll find tahini in many noodle dishes throughout Asia and Greeks like to use it to dip pita and their meat kabobs in it.
It’s up to you whether you use the hulled or unhulled sesame seeds. If you use the unhulled ones, your homemade tahini will be just ever so slightly more bitter, but you’ll preserve 90% of calcium that sesame seed hulls are rich in.
You might like some of the dishes put together by other tahini enthusiasts in these “ways to use tahini” lists I found online:
You will most likely need more that 1 jar of my homemade tahini to cook your way through all the recipes on these lists, but hey! – it only takes 15 minutes to make another jar
The Queen of Tahini
One of my favourite tahini recipe is the Tahini Hot Chocolate, by my fellow blogger, photographer (and a percussionist!), beautiful Molly. Molly also used tahini in her Tahini Cupcakes with Chocolate Tahini Frosting and in the truly spectacular Chocolate Tahini Cake with Rosemary Buttercream. There are many other, savoury, and equally amazing recipes on Molly’s blog, with the use of tahini, and for that reason she is my Tahini Queen!
- 2 cups unhulled sesame seeds
- 6 tbsp sesame, canola or coconut oil (or any other very mild in flavour)
- ½ tsp salt
- Toast sesame seeds, on a medium heat, in a dry pan or a skillet, stirring the seeds constantly. You’ll observe after a few minutes that your sesame seeds will start becoming shiny (they are releasing the oil) and sticking to your spoon. Watch out not to over toast or burn them. You are looking for a delicate straw colour, but not brown or orange.
- Place the toasted seeds in a food processor and leave them for a few minutes to cool a bit before processing them for about 2 minutes. Scrape the sides of the food processor bowl and blend them again for another 2 minutes until the seeds break down and create a coarse, sandy, dump powder.
- Add oil and salt and process for another 3 minutes.
- Store refrigerated in an airtight container.