What exactly is tahini anyway? It sounds exotic, doesn’t it? And a bit mysterious.
Seriously, though? It’s sesame paste. Sesame seeds, blended with oil. That’s it.
So if it’s just sesame seeds and oil, why is it so darned expensive to buy in the store? I haven’t been able to figure that out. The high cost for a jar was always what discouraged me from trying to make my own hummus since it’s a key ingredient.
However, I have come to learn that tahini is actually a simple food that is simple to make in your own home. Furthermore, it’s not expensive when you make it yourself!
So how do you make tahini? The first step involves toasting the sesame seeds. While it’s not necessary, toasting the sesame seeds actually gives the paste more of a nutty flavor. You will also notice, if you toast them, that the sesame seeds become more “plump”, sort of like bring them “back to life”!
Next step involves running the toasted sesame seeds in the food processor, until it forms into a crumbly paste. Grinding the sesame seeds by themselves first without any oil will achieve a smoother tahini paste later.
Then comes the oil and more time in the food processor.
Add one tablespoon at a time, processing after each addition, until you achieve a thick, but runny paste.
Voila! Only two ingredients…just like that! As I mentioned, tahini often comes up when you talk about making your own hummus. While I don’t think hummus necessarily HAS to have it, it is a traditional core ingredient to the garbanzo bean dip that hummus is.
That being said, take this tahini and make your own hummus…like my Roasted Cauliflower Hummus pictured here…just like this!
So the next time you have a recipe that needs tahini, forget about going to the grocery store and wasting precious dollars buying an expensive jar. Go buy some sesame seeds, get oil from your pantry, and whip out your handy dandy food processor! Give it a try and leave me a comment below!
Easy Homemade Tahini
- 1/2 cup sesame seeds
- 3 tbs light olive oil
- In a dry skillet over medium-low heat, toast the sesame seeds, stirring often, until golden. (If the sesame seeds start "popping", the heat is too high.)
- Let sesame seeds cool completely.
- Pour sesame seeds into food processor and process until thick crumbly paste forms.
- Add 1 tbs of oil to the sesame seed paste and turn on the processor to blend. Repeat with remaining oil, processing to blend well after each tablespoon of oil. Consistency should be thicky, but runny. (Adjust amount of oil added as needed.)
- Keep in an airtight jar or container in the refrigerator for up to 6 months. If oil separates, stir well before using.
If you make this recipe, share your photo on Facebook or Instagram and tag me @dayinthekitchen!
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