Tahini can be used for more than just making hummus! Read on to learn more about this delicious nutty paste.
What is Tahini?
Tahini, sometimes called Tahina, is a thick paste which is made from ground hulled sesame seeds. You can think of it as a nut butter, but with a thinner consistency. This nutty paste is commonly used as a condiment Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine.
Good quality tahini should be made with 100% sesame seeds - nothing else. Confusingly, there is a prepared sauce called Tahina which is made with pureed sesame seeds, lemon juice and garlic. To make sure that you're buying tahini, just check the ingredient list. If it says 100% sesame seeds, you've got the right product.
What Can I Make with Tahini?
When you think of tahini, you probably think of adding it to dips like hummus and baba ghanoush. There's so much more that you can do with it though! Again, think of it as a nut butter. You can eat it off a spoon, spread it on toast, add it to salad dressings, or add it a sauce for noodles or rice.
TIP: I've found that most nut butters and pastes will separate and become greasy when added to sauces if the heat is too high. Instead, it's best to gently stir in the paste towards the end of the cooking process, on low heat, until just combined.
Tahini is also great in desserts! It's a key ingredient in a Middle Eastern sweet called halva, but can also be used in baked goods like this sweet sesame layer cake or these chocolate tahini brownies.
Where to Buy Tahini:
Tahini is generally available as most major grocery stores. You can find the Nuts for You brand at Walmart or the Arz Fine Food brand at Real Canadian Superstore, if you're in Canada. Otherwise, you can always order a jar online from Amazon.
It's important to note that not all tahini tastes the same. Some brands can be deliciously nutty and easy to eat off the spoon, while others can be a bit chalky and bitter. The brand that I'm showing in this post is a bit on the bitter side, but it's what I had in my pantry. As with any product, it's best to try a few different kinds until you find a brand that you enjoy.
How to Store Tahini:
You should always follow the package directions, as the instructions may vary from brand to brand. Generally speaking though, tahini should be stored in a cool and dry place (not in the fridge). You will also need to stir the paste well before using, as it tends to separate.
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