Make tahini from scratch with just 2 ingredients
Tahini is a sesame seed paste that is an essential ingredient in so many Middle Eastern dishes like hummus, tzatziki, falafel, and even halvah. When you buy it in the store it is expensive, bitter tasting, and not very fresh. But if you have a food processor, you can make tahini at home in a few minutes. It’s easy. And like most things, homemade tastes better and is better for you than store bought.
Homemade is also much cheaper than store bought. I pay $8 for two cups of organic tahini. When you buy the hulled sesame seeds in bulk you’ll pay much less.
Tahini calls for just 2 simple ingredients, olive oil and hulled sesame seeds.
The difference between hulled and unhulled sesame seeds
Sesame seeds are high in copper, zinc, and calcium. When the hulls are removed 60% of the calcium is removed with it. The calcium in sesame seed hulls, however, is in the form of calcium oxalate. It is bitter and not as readily bio-available. The calcium in the kernel of the sesame seed is in a more bio-available form. Further, the unhulled sesame seeds will make your tahini taste bitter, so opt for the hulled ones in this recipe. Most commercial tahini is made with hulled sesame seeds. (More information about the nutritional content of sesame seeds)
Best tasting Tahini recipe
Yield: 1 1/2 cup of tahini
2 cups of organic, raw, hulled sesame seeds
3 tbsp. virgin olive oil
In a heavy bottomed skillet, over medium heat, toast sesame seeds until they are golden brown. Stir constantly and do not over brown.
Allow the sesame seeds to cool till just warm.
Using your food processor, process on low with the “S” blade attached. This is the food processor I use. It does a very good job processing dates, nuts, and other fruits and seeds, without overheating the motor.
The sesame seeds will grind to a fine powder. If it seems like you are just stirring the sesame seeds, pulsing will help to ensure that the seeds are ground.
Add olive oil 1 tablespoon at a time, while the processor continues to grind. The sesame seeds will begin to form a paste about the consistency of peanut butter. Once this occurs you can add more olive oil, if you want a runnier paste.
For making halva, you will want a thicker tahini and for hummus, tahini salad dressing, or tahini dip for falafel, you’ll want a runnier tahini.
How to use tahini:
Homemade Hummus from Attainable Sustainable
Tahini and Hubbard Squash Hummus from Mother of a Hubbard
Tahini Salad Dressing
Grapefruit and Tahini Salad Dressing from Livin’ Lovin’ Farmin’
Sesame Seed Snaps (Sesame seeds, sugar, and honey)
Sesame Wafers from Homestead Lady (Italian Benne wafers)