Homemade tahini is so easy to make in just 10 minutes! Tahini is a middle eastern sesame seed paste that's nutty, creamy and used in many middle eastern recipes. You can make it at home using a food processor or high powered blender with just 2 ingredients.
What is Tahini?
Tahini, or Tahina in Arabic, is one of the most essential middle eastern condiments. It is popularized through hummus, as it features as one of the main ingredients alongside chickpeas. But that's not its only use in middle eastern cuisine!
Tahini is used across many other dips like baba ghanoush, and also used to make a lemony tahini sauce that's always slathered on falafel and shawarma. It is also a core part of the yogurt sauce that's used for both chickpea fatteh and eggplant fatteh.
To emphasis even more how much tahini is loved in middle eastern cuisine, we also eat it for breakfast with bread, simply tahini mixed with data or carob molasses!
Tahini is made by crushing and grinding lightly toasted sesame seeds into a paste. It's exactly the same method as making peanut butter or any other nut butter. Follow my tips below to get the best results!
Ingredients You'll Need to Make Tahini At Home
You'll need hulled sesame seeds, along with a few tablespoons of neutral oil. The purpose of the oil is just to get the blender or food processor started with grinding the sesame seeds.
You'll also need either a high powered food processor or blender to make tahini!
TIP: Make sure you buy hulled sesame seeds, which means sesame seeds without their outer shell.
Here's How to Make Tahini, Step by Step
The first step is to place your sesame seeds in a sauté pan over low heat. You want to ensure you are constantly stirring the sesame seeds until they are fragrant and lightly toasted. This should only take 3-5 minutes.
Once they are lightly toasted, immediately take them off the heat and transfer them to a heat proof bowl. You don't want them to darken too much or the Tahini Paste will taste bitter.
Toasting sesame seeds is essential for optimal flavour. But over-toasting them will result in bitterness. Be sure to remove them once the smell intensifies. Their colour will not change too much!
Next, place the seeds in a small food processor, or a small blender, and process them until they form a fine powder. This should only take a minute or so.
Add in 3 tablespoons of oil, reserving 1 tablespoon of oil if needed. Continue processing until a smooth paste is formed.
How long this takes depends on how powerful your processor is, most will be able to get it to this point in 5 minutes or so. If needed, add in the extra tablespoon of oil if the paste is looking too thick. If you're using a powerful processor or blender, you may be able to use less oil!
The tahini paste will come together quickly and is ready to use right away. Transfer to an air tight mason jar. This recipe yields 250 ml.
How to Store Tahini
Tahini can be stored at room temperature, in an air tight container or jar. It's best to store it in a cool and dry area, like a kitchen cupboard or pantry. You can also store it in the fridge, but I don't recommend that as it will make it thicker.
Tahini is similar to all other nut butters, and it will separate as it sits. This is completely normal. Simply stir it well before using it.
TIP: When storing tahini, flip the jar upside down to help prevent the tahini from separating too much!
Tahini will keep for a long time on the shelf (months and up to a year), as long as it is air tight and not contaminated with moisture. The oil in tahini acts as a preservative! Make sure that you use a clean utensil when you use it to avoid contamination.
How to Use Tahini
There are so many ways to use tahini, but here are my must-try ways:
- Make hummus and baba ghanoush
- Make a tahini lemon and garlic sauce for your shawarma and falafel, or any other sandwich
- Use it in a salad dressing. You can whisk it with lemon juice, salt, pepper, and garlic, or add any other spices!
- Use it to make a garlic tahini yogurt sauce for dipping, like in this fatteh recipe
- Use it as a substitute for peanut butter or any other nut butter in smoothies and desserts
- Mix it with date molasses and spread it on bread or dip pita bread into it for the most delicious dip!
- Try this easy and vegan tahini pasta!
How to Get Rid of Bitterness in Tahini
As an Arab who constantly uses tahini in my cooking, I've been asked over the years how to get rid of the bitterness in tahini. First of all... tahini should not taste bitter! If your store bought tahini is bitter, make sure you switch to a different brand.
Some brands may be making tahini using unhulled sesame seeds, which will not yield the same traditional taste.
Also, over roasting sesame seeds can make the processed tahini paste taste bitter. That is also not the proper way to make tahini! So if you can't find a smooth tasting tahini brand, make sure you make at home using this recipe.
Other Recipes You Will Love
If you tried these recipes, please consider leaving a star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating in the recipe card below and/or a review in the comments section further down the page - I'd love to hear from you! You can also hop on over to Instagram and say hello!
Homemade Tahini Paste in 10 Minutes
- 200 grams sesame seeds
- 3 tablespoons neutral oil ie. vegetable or avocado oil
- In a sauté pan over low heat, toast the sesame seeds stirring constantly until fragrant and lightly golden, do not over toast or your tahini paste will taste bitter
- Pour into a small food processor and process for 1-2 minutes until the seeds are ground
- Add in 3 tablespoons oil and continue processing until smooth. This should take about 5 minutes depending on the power of your food processor. If needed, add the extra tablespoon of oil if it is too thick.
- Transfer to a 250 ml air tight mason jar
- Store at room temperature for several months
- Before using, make sure to stir the tahini well as the oil will separate over time
- You need a powerful food processor or blender to make tahini smooth
- If you're using a blender, make sure you take the time to scrape the sides and press it down with a tamper
- To help tahini not separate as much when stored, store it upside down in an air tight jar at room temperature