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Old 05-09-2005, 08:40 PM   #1
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Tahini

Has anyone ever made their own tahini paste? I found a recipe for it, but don't know if it will be worth the effort. If anyone has any suggestions or advise please let me know. Here is the recipe I found.

Tahini (Sesame Seed Paste) Recipe


Ingredients
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup tepid water


Instructions
Blend sesame seeds in a blender and grind until smooth. Add sesame oil, salt, and then slowly add 1/4 cup of water while blending. Blend until completely smooth. Yield: 1/2 cup

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Old 05-09-2005, 10:18 PM   #2
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I'll be trying this! I don't use Tahini often enough and find myself tossing out way more of a jar or can than I use. This is a perfect solution to that. Thanks!


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Old 05-10-2005, 07:55 AM   #3
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I think the author of that recipe might be a little confused between tahini (sesame paste) aka sesame butter and tahini dressing.

Tahini is pure nut butter, ie ground sesame seeds. That's it. Think peanut butter, but instead of using peanuts, sesame seeds are used instead. It's longevity is based on the fact that it contains no water. Although tahini will last for months without refrigeration, the fresher it is, the better it tastes. Refrigeration can help in this regard.

Tahini dressing is a dressing made from tahini that contains lemon juice, garlic, salt, and water. If you've ever been to a middle eastern restaurant, that's the 'gravy' type stuff that they pour over platters and add to pita based sandwiches. Because it contains water and has perishable ingredients, it must be refrigerated and keeps no longer than a few days.

Tahini, besides being used for tahini dressing, is used in hummuous, babaganouj and halvah.

It does get a little confusing because some restaurants will refer to tahini dressing as simply 'tahini.' Still, though, the dressing and the nut butter are two different animals, and have vastly differing shelf lives.
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Old 05-10-2005, 08:06 AM   #4
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Scott123 this is interesting. I find that the cans of tahini (not dressing, but pure tahini) do not last very long at all, even in the fridge. I find it only lasts a few weeks at most. I do not use very much of a can usually so I wished it lasted longer. Any ideas why mine seems to go rancid quicker than what you would expect and any suggestions as to how I could prolong its life?
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Old 05-10-2005, 10:51 AM   #5
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I am a little confused. So the recipe is for tahini dressing and not tahini paste?

I looked up the definition on tahini. (below) then listed under that was an external link to a recipe. That's how I got the recipe.

Tahini

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.


Tahini (or "tehina" in Hebrew) is a paste made from ground sesame seeds. It is a major ingredient in hummus and other dishes from the Middle East. It can be purchased fresh, in cans, in jars, or dehydrated. Tahini comes in two varieties - 'hulled' and 'unhulled'. Both types are relatively high in vitamins and contain a small amount of protein. Unhulled tahini is quite bitter but has a much higher proportion of vitamins, calcium, and protein because the sesame seeds are ground whole.

As a spread, tahini can replace peanut butter on bread. Tahini paste is often used in a wide variety of dishes. You can find it in most Arabic restaurants as a side dish or as a garnish. Tahini is considered an exotic dish due to the lack of production of sesame in Western countries.
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Old 05-10-2005, 11:00 AM   #6
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I actually would not even call it a recipe for tahini dressing (I have always just called both the dressing and paste tahini) since there is no lemon juice or garlic.

To me it looks like an approximation of tahini. It is not exactly how you would make it, but it would get you close and could prob be substituted for real tahini in many cases if real tahini was not available.
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Old 05-10-2005, 11:03 AM   #7
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Tahini paste is just what you described, sesame seeds ground into a peanut buttery consistancy.

From there it is used as the base in tahini sauces, which is what Scott is describing with the added spices.


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Old 05-10-2005, 11:12 AM   #8
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Thanks for the help. I will give both of them a try.
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Old 05-10-2005, 12:50 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GB
Scott123 this is interesting. I find that the cans of tahini (not dressing, but pure tahini) do not last very long at all, even in the fridge. I find it only lasts a few weeks at most. I do not use very much of a can usually so I wished it lasted longer. Any ideas why mine seems to go rancid quicker than what you would expect and any suggestions as to how I could prolong its life?
Tahini (the paste) should last for months. We're talking desert food here. If you're finding that the tahini you buy is going rancid quickly, there's only one answer - it wasn't all that fresh to begin with. I won't buy supermarket tahini for that very reason. There's usually not enough turnover to maintain a fresh supply of the product. I'm fortunate enough to have a Syrian community about 30 minutes away. That's where I get my tahini. If you don't live near any middle eastern supermarkets... well... my best advice would be to look for the cans with the least amount of dust on them. Seriously.

You can grind the seeds yourself (without water, obviously), but it'll be difficult to match the creaminess of the canned stuff. Hummus, babaganouj and tahini dressing really don't work unless the tahini is smooth.

If you've got a good blender, then maybe you can blend the seeds with oil. If the seeds and the oil are warm, they'll be a little more liquid/blend easier.

Also, you can make hummus and tahini dressing in the blender. If you that, you can start with seeds. If you do use seeds, make sure those are fresh, as it's easy to buy rancid seeds as well.
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Old 05-10-2005, 01:07 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abjcooking
Tahini

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.


As a spread, tahini can replace peanut butter on bread. Tahini paste is often used in a wide variety of dishes. You can find it in most Arabic restaurants as a side dish or as a garnish.
Wikipedia doesn't really get it. They're equating tahini and tahini dressing. You'll never find the pure paste served "as a side dish" in restaurants. You will find tahini dressing, though.

My problem with the recipe is that by the time you add all that water to make it blend, it's pretty much worthless. You wouldn't want that much water in babaganouj or hummous. Although tahini dressing has a certain amount of water, I think the amount in this recipe, combined with whatever lemon juice you'd be adding would result in a pretty runny end product.

If you wanted to set out to make tahini dressing and all you had was sesame seeds, then you could combine the water, seeds, lemon juice and garlic and come up with something pretty good. But blending sesame seeds with water and calling it tahini paste? No.
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Old 05-10-2005, 06:23 PM   #11
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Just to be clear. If I were to make Tahini (the end product dressing), what would I do?? Would I use the initial recipe from above (which I believe to be the paste that is used as a base), then from that added required amounts of lemon, garlic, etc.... to make the "dressing" that I would serve with food or on top of food?
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Old 05-11-2005, 07:27 AM   #12
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Abjcooking, seeds take up twice the volume as paste, so if you have a tahini dressing recipe that includes tahini paste and you want to sub seeds, use twice the amount and toss the whole thing (seeds, lemon juice, garlic, water) in the blender.

The recipe at the beginning of the forum, as I said before, is pretty much useless due to the water content. I still contend that it's the result of someone going to a restaurant, seeing the dressing and assuming that it was just watered down, blended paste. It isn't.
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Old 08-27-2005, 08:52 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scott123
Tahini (the paste) should last for months. We're talking desert food here. If you're finding that the tahini you buy is going rancid quickly, there's only one answer - it wasn't all that fresh to begin with. I won't buy supermarket tahini for that very reason. There's usually not enough turnover to maintain a fresh supply of the product. I'm fortunate enough to have a Syrian community about 30 minutes away. That's where I get my tahini. If you don't live near any middle eastern supermarkets... well... my best advice would be to look for the cans with the least amount of dust on them. Seriously.

.
I think you are right on the freshness. My mom brings back tahini from the middle east every year, and I keep it in my cupboard for months. If I'm out I'll end up buying some in a jar from the middle eastern supermarket, and it also seems to keep well in the cupboard.
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Old 08-27-2005, 09:31 PM   #14
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Tahini = ground sesame seeds = sesame 'butter'.

You could also buy sesame paste in any Asian market. It's the same thing.
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Old 08-01-2017, 01:50 AM   #15
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I am living for the moment in a rented furnished flat/apartment that has a food processor and one of those wand-like hand-held "immersion blenders", but nothing like a Waring Blender.... and it seems impossible to grind the sesame into a paste.

One thing that helped a great deal was to pan-toast the sesame seeds (without added oil). The toasted seeds seem to grind much better than the raw ones.

Am I still making tehina? It's quite delicious, this "toasted tehina", but it's not the same. Is there a secret to getting the sesame to grind? What kind of grinder/blender works best. Is there some kind of hand grinder that will work for this?

thank you
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Old 08-01-2017, 08:30 AM   #16
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I think the toasted seeds grind better because they are drier. I guess you could go back in time and use a mortar and pestle.
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Old 08-01-2017, 10:43 AM   #17
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Several years ago, I started using peanut butter as a substitute for tahini in recipes for hummus. The two products taste almost exactly the same. Prior to that, there were times I found myself throwing out a jar of expensive tahini because it had gone stale before I had a chance to use it up.

This might sound like a weird thing to do, but I recently read that peanut butter is actually an accepted alternative, even among foodies...
Peanut Buttery Hummus (No Tahini) Recipe | Serious Eats

I do understand that peanut butter isn't always easy to come by outside the US, though.
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Old 08-01-2017, 11:08 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Kroll View Post
Several years ago, I started using peanut butter as a substitute for tahini in recipes for hummus. The two products taste almost exactly the same. Prior to that, there were times I found myself throwing out a jar of expensive tahini because it had gone stale before I had a chance to use it up.

This might sound like a weird thing to do, but I recently read that peanut butter is actually an accepted alternative, even among foodies...
Peanut Buttery Hummus (No Tahini) Recipe | Serious Eats

I do understand that peanut butter isn't always easy to come by outside the US, though.
It makes sense to me. Sesame noodle recipes often call for peanut butter, too.
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Old 08-01-2017, 03:13 PM   #19
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I'll have to try making hummus with peanut butter instead of tahini. Thanks for the tip Steve.
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Old 08-04-2017, 02:47 AM   #20
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Well, I'll be. Yes, in fact I have been making hummus for a few weeks now with peanut butter when I couldn't get the sesame seeds to grind. OK, so while I'm confessing the weird hummuses (hummi? lol) I've been experimenting with, here are three others:

1. A random unknown person told me that the secret to making awesome hummus is NOT to use tehina at all, but instead to grind the sesame and the chickpeas together. The person basically suggested that you grind all the ingredients together at once.
It was doing this in a food processor that left the sesame seeds very poorly ground. So then I tried grinding the sesame seeds alone, and found indeed that they don't grind very well in my food processor. Which is what led me to try pan-toasting them.
On this subject, still, I ask: do people here find that they can grind sesame seeds in a food processor and make smooth hummus? I'm trying to understand if my problem is that I shouldn't be using a food processor, or if I should just be using a much better one. What **do** people grind their sesame seeds with to produce a smooth paste?

2. Actually, I ALSO tried the mortar and pestle route. But unfortunately, the Tel Aviv ghetto I live in seems to sell two kinds of mortar-and-pestles (or is that mortars and pestles). One of them has both mortar and pestle made of wood; the other is a much larger affair ( I believe it's African perhaps?) and it's made of fired glazed clay!! Back in the old country (which for me is Chappaqua, N.Y. USA), these things were made of stone. But techina is not a food that the natives of Chappaqua (neither the original indigenous population, nor the Quakers that replaced them in the 18th century, nor the Jews and former Presidents who replaced the Quakers) make. So: what kind of mortar and pestle do I need to make smooth tehina?

3. In my quest to try "something", I made my last batch of hummus with pan-roasted BLACK sesame seeds. Suprisingly enough, the result was ..... black hummus. Well, dark charcoal grey hummus. It was VERY good, although it was somewhat creepy. If you can use some black in your (non-burnt) food, give it a try.

(About peanut butter being American: I made some black hummus using half black sesame seeds and half peanuts, and the people I served it too all thought that it "tasted Asian.")

I have attached to this post a picture of the hummus made with half black sesame seeds and half peanuts (that is, I ground the cooked chickpeas together with the amount of (peanuts + black sesame ) I would have used to make the tehina paste I would have used to make humus (if I were a normal person). The stuff made without peanuts is even blacker.

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