Tahini is an integral part of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine. It can be used as a dip by itself or as an ingredient in the preparation of hummus. Tahini is a staple in many cuisines and is a paste of sesame seeds.
Ayurvedically, sesame seeds and sesame oil is very good for health. It improves digestion, enhances intelligence, cleanses wounds, and is beneficial for hair and skin. It has sweet accompanied with astringent taste and strengthens immunity, is anti-aging and rejuvenating. It improves bowel movement and acts as an aphrodisiac. It balances Vata and Kapha dosha but slightly increases Pitta.
Tahini can be made from hulled or unhulled sesame seeds. Hulled sesame seeds are white in color. Tahini paste made from hulled sesame seeds is smooth while tahini from unhulled sesame seeds tastes slightly bitter. Homemade Tahini is cheaper than the store bought. It can be used for a longer duration by storing it properly in the refrigerator.
- 1 cup hulled sesame seeds.
- 2 to 4 tbsp of neutral flavored oil like canola, canola or a light olive oil.
- Pinch of salt.
- Toasting Sesame Seeds: In a wide and dry saucepan, add sesame seeds and toast over medium-low heat and keep on stirring continuously until the seeds become fragrant and lightly colored. Transfer these seeds on a large plate and cool completely. Sesame seeds burn very quickly so be careful while toasting seeds.
- Make Tahini: Add toasted and cooled sesame seeds in a food processor and grind them for a minute till it becomes a crumbly paste. Add 3 tbsp of oil and again process it for 2 to 3 minutes till a smooth paste is formed. Add an additional spoon of oil and scrape the bottom and sides of processor and process again. Add salt to taste and process again.
- Store Tahini: Tahini can be stored in a refrigerator for a month. If the oil separates over time, then give the tahini a good stir before using.
Use Tahini to prepare hummus, baba ganoush, as tahini sauce or as a salad dressing.