What can you do with Tahini (Sesame Paste)

Sesame paste, the magic ingredient from the middle eastern kitchen

Tahini, Tahin, Tahina is a paste made from 100% sesame seeds. It is a creamy paste that is rich in protein (about 24%) good fats (about 50%) and nutritional  fibres (about 12%).

Tahini is being now discovered in Europe, however many people still do not know what do do with this fantastic ingredient. Therefore we share with you some secrets to inspire you and get you hungry for this healthy ingredient, and show you how you can combine it into your daily diet.

Tahini fits perfectly in a vegan diet, and it is a great way to help you reduce consumption of meat, as it is packed with protein and minerals as Calcium.

We will show you here how can make mouthwatering dishes with tahini, you can thank me later ;-)

Hummus-regular
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hummus-mushroom

Make your own Hummus

Probably the most famous dish you can make with Tahini.

Hummus is made with cooked chickpeas, tahini and spices/ herbs. It can be served as a dip, a side dish or as main course.  Hummus that you prepare by yourself is very healthy as it containers lots of fibers, good fats proteins and minerals.

You cam “personalize” your hummus to your taste, we will try to inspire you with few  examples.

 

 

IMPORTANT: Always start with good quality Tahini !

How you identify good Tahini:

  •  smell it : must smell like lightly roasted sesame
  •  taste it #1: should be creamy and taste like sesame (and not earthy/muddy)
  •  taste it #2 :must not be too bitter, you should feel light sweetness, light “umami” taste
  •  mix it: take a spoon and mix it. If its too hard to mix with a spoon it is probably too coarse (rough milling). We prefer fine milling because it is  assayer to mix and absorbs more liquids

Basic Hummus recipe

Ingredients:

Cooked chickpeas (from a can or cook yourself)

Good quality Tahini

For seasoning: Lemon Juice, Salt, Garlic, Parsley, cumin

How to prepare:

– Put the cooked chickpeas in a bowl  together with some of the cooking water. Don’t put too much of the cooking water inside about 20% of the total volume seems right. When you get the experience you will know the exact ratio that works best for you.

– Add tahini to the bowl, between 10% and 30% of total volume. The more tahini- the creamier the hummus.

– Add seasoning to your taste: some lemon juice, salt, cumin, garlic (garlic powder is also OK!)

– Now use a (hand) blender to mix it all to smooth paste. If it is too hard or too pasty, add some more of the cooking water to make the mix softer.

Hummus tastes better when it is fresh and lukewarm (not cold, not hot)

Serve with your favorite bread. We like it with a fresh, fluffy Pita

Lazy? no problem!

  • Use cooked chickpeas from a can
  • Use lemon juice from a bottle
  • Use dried spices like dry garlic

Want to do all from scratch?

  • Soak chickpeas overnight in water
  • Cook the chickpeas in water, pinch of salt and a pinch of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate). The baking soda will soften the chickpeas so you will get an extra creamy Hummus, It will also save you cooking time.
  • Cook until the chickpeas are soft

Hummus Toppings

Add anything you fancy:

  • boiled egg
  • olive oil
  • cooked chickpeas/ cooked broad beans
  • lemon juice
  • fried eggplant
  • fried mushrooms
  • tahini dip
  • grilled capsicum (spicy/ sweet)
  • chopped parsley
  • roasted pine nuts
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Basic Tahini Dip recipe

Tahini dip can be used as mayonnaise replacement

Perfect dip/ sauce to accompany grilled vegetables, fresh vegetabls, salad, bread, falafel, avocado, meat and fish.

Tahini dip contains about 12% protein and 25% good fat.

What you will need:

  • High quality tahini ( like Gil’s Bio Tahini)
  • Cold Water
  • Lemon Juice
  • Garlic (fresh or powder)
  • Salt
  • To garnish: chopped parsley /chopped mint leaves/ paprika/ chili powder

Add cold water to the tahini. The proportion should be about 60%-50% tahini and 40%-50% water

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Mix slowly, add salt and other spices if you want

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Mix…mix mix…

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add lemon juice, keep mixing

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Mix until this happens, a smooth creamy dip. If it is too chunky, add some water or lemon juice, if it is too liquid add some tahini.

After this garnish to your taste, or add chopped parsley to make green tahini

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Images credit: Keren Biton Cohen

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