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Tahini is an incredibly important ingredient in Middle East and Mediterranean cooking. Made from just white sesame seeds, salt, and a few drops of oil, this savory seed paste is ground or blended until smoothy and silky. It adds creaminess and nuttiness to what you are making or eating.
If you’ve noshed on my white bean hummus, you’ve eaten tahini, as it plays an essential role in this dip’s flavor and texture. But I use tahini for a lot of things beyond hummus, including a chocolate chip cookie skillet, brownies, and many of my gluten-free dinner recipes.
Like many ingredients, I’ve noticed a difference in the flavor and texture depending on what brand you buy. Some are too thick, some too grainy, and most commonly, too bitter. So I decided to start playing around with homemade tahini, until I got it just right. And in my eyes, that means super silky smooth, in-between drippy and nut butter thick, with a toasted, nutty flavor.
The process is very simple: toast raw sesame seeds, then grind with 1 teaspoon oil (using high speed blender or food processor, scraping down the sides as you go. It will start crumbly, but continue to evolve into the smoothest, creamiest tahini.
Then pour into a jar and refrigerate. The great thing about sesame is that is contains relatively stable oils with a high concentration of antioxidants, so it can last for a long time when stored properly.
If you’ve had trouble grinding nut butters because they are so rough and tough, you are going to love making tahini the sesame seeds are tiny and thin! Here’s an inside look at how the consistency will change as you grind. Just keep scraping down the sides, and blending. You’ll get to the end pretty quickly.
I love how mild tahini is, a neutral slate when compared to nut butters. Perhaps what I love most is the rich, smooth, creaminess it adds to whatever your stirring it into or drizzling it on top of. It contributes some subtle flavor, but not overwhelming. And because of that, it’s extremely versatile, naturally working it’s way into both sweet and savory recipes.
My favorite way will always be avocado toast, made with my sourdough bread, a sprinkle of za’atar and a little extra olive oil. It doesn’t get old, ever. Other savory ideas:
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I make mine in a Thai granite mortar and pestle and it’s so easy.
Interesting! I don’t have a granite mortar and pestle, but sounds like another great option for making tahini.
I love tahini but usually only buy it when making homemade hummus. This looks like such an easy recipe and definitely would be the way to go. Fresher and less expensive. Thanks for sharing :)
This is so great and the tips are fabulous. I don’t know why I haven’t thought to make my own before! Such a better more economical way to go. Tahini, here I come! <3 <3 <3
Mmm, the pics are gorgeous, especially the toast with avocado! I make sometimes, but also like to buy from time to time my tahini . Ong i know for sure: i couln’t be able to live without tahini, so addicted!
I’ve never even thought of making my own tahini but it looks so easy. Can’t wait to try it. The butternut squash pie sounds so yummy!
Oh man, you have no idea how much I want that tahini-topped avocado toast right now! Also, Amanda, these photos are DROP DEAD GORGEOUS! I want to slather the tahini all over my face (totes normal reaction…)
Love this post!!! I’ve been dying to make my own tahini…can’t wait to try this!! xoxo
I was JUST wondering the other day how hard it would be to make tahini at home! So glad the answer is not hard at all. I’m definitely going to try this!
You’ve totally got this! Easier than I ever expected. And honestly, the smooth, drippy texture is soooo great.
I have been obsessed with tahini for about 2 straight years now! I still use it on everything. I can’t believe I haven’t tried making my own yet- I will now give it a go ASAP. Thanks for the recipe!!
I make nut butters all of the time and I’ve never even thought to make my own tahini! Love seeing how it blends up into such creamy delishishness. :) I’ve got a couple jars of tahini already stocked away in the pantry, but after I get through those, I’ll give your method a try!
I know, for some reason I hadn’t thought of it either until having a one pound bag of sesame seeds in my pantry and wondering what to do with them. It’s so good, better than store-bought in my opinion! xo
I have to confess, I’ve never really used tahini! Now I need to get to making my own! xo
Girl, you are going to love it! Imagine a savory peanut butter, but so subtle. I use it every day. And such a good vegan addition for creamy texture! xo
I have mastered making nut butters, but I have yet to try seed butters! I LOVE tahini, so I’ll defs be making this soon!
LOVING using tahini in almost anything right now. I have only made homemade tahini once. It was the very same week I sprouted chickpeas and made homemade hummus. It was a labor-intensive week, but it was quite the delicious one. Thanks for the detailed tutorial. I’ll have to get after making this again. And I seriously want to make Molly Yeh’s Tahini Oreo cookies one day. I dream about them.