A tahini (sesame seed paste) is an ingredient that I have grown to love over the years.
My first use of it was for making homemade hummus, but I quickly discovered I was sneaking a taste of it while I was preparing the hummus. Finally, I graduated to spreading tahini on toast like peanut butter.
Tahini is a uniquely nutty and almost bitter flavor that really grows on you. When combined with dips and dressings, a little bit of it will bring a whole new flavor. I have noticed that the problem with tahini is that unless you have some great ethnic markets in your neighborhood, it may be quite expensive to get it.
It’s actually quite easy to make at home, as long as you’ve got access to bulk sesame seeds and a good source of them.
Whether or not it will be worthwhile for you to make your own tahini will have to do with your ability to find the seeds at a reasonable price.
In addition, homemade tahini is not always as smooth as store bought tahini, as the manufacturer can remove the thin hull from the sesame seeds through a sort of commercial food magic before grinding them into a silky paste with no hull.
Due to the fact that I don’t know how to remove the hull at home, the texture of my paste is a little rough. I can live with that, though.
Apronese introduces you to the interesting things about it below.
Let me show you how to make your own tahini now that you’ve decided whether or not you would be interested in making your own tahini.
Make sure your raw sesame seeds are fresh, as if they are old, they may become rancid, which can ruin the flavor of your tahini. I used one cup of seeds, which yielded about 3/4 cup of tahini.
If your seeds are old, the oils in them will turn rancid and your tahini will not have a great flavor. It was only at the produce market that I discovered my seeds, but they can be found in bulk bins as well as at the produce market.
It takes only a few minutes to toast the seeds to enhance their flavor, and you can do this in a dry skillet over medium heat while constantly stirring them.
Once the seeds are toasty, you can serve them. There will be a few darker seeds peppered throughout the mixture. You’ll notice the seeds start to turn golden and you’ll see a few darker seeds sprinkled throughout.
Keep stirring throughout to prevent burning. You should make sure to transfer them right away to a different container so that they don’t continue toasting from the residual heat from the skillet once they are nice and toasty. Bad flavor comes from burnt seeds.
It is very important to transfer them to a small food processor after they have cooled down for a few minutes.
You can use any oil, but I suggest a light oil with a neutral flavor so that it does not compete with the sesame seeds (in other words, not extra virgin olive oil).
Technically, any oil can be used, but I would suggest a light oil with a neutral flavor. The oil I used was canola, but sesame would be an excellent choice for obvious reasons.
It is just a very inexpensive mini food processor (probably $10) that doesn’t have a lot of power, but it still works, even though it does not have much power.
The seeds should work well if you are using a food processor, but you will need to make a larger batch in order to get them to process properly. It is also likely that super blenders like Ninja or Magic Bullets will work well too.
In my opinion, a regular blender probably won’t be as effective because the cup might not allow the seeds to “churn” during blend time.
You will notice the mixture appears dry when you start blending (like in the previous photo), but keep scraping down the sides and processing until it reaches a paste consistency.
Once the seeds begin to break down and form a paste, blend until it reaches the desired consistency. You can add a pinch of salt if you wish. Those little seeds will likely remain, so a few lumps are likely to remain.
That’s all! Make sure to keep your tahini in an airtight container in your refrigerator for a long time since now that all those oils are exposed to air, they are more likely to turn rancid if left exposed.
Obviously, there is no set time for how long it will remain good in the refrigerator, but it is just like natural peanut butter in that regard and should last quite some time.
How would you use tahini if you had to choose a favorite method?
Would you mind sharing any tips you have for making it at home?
If you have any thoughts about this article, please let Apronese know in the comment section below.