I love to make my own creamy hummus at home. There is nothing like freshly-made hummus that hasn’t been sitting in a cooler at the super market for weeks. Because of my love for hummus, I also started making my own tahini – one crucial ingredient to making hummus.
I prefer to make tahini at home because it is quick and easy to make, plus it’s much less expensive than store-bought brands. Have you ever purchased a jar for like $11 to then realize that you can make it yourself for a few bucks? Me too. All you need is a food processor, sesame seeds, a neutral oil, and a pinch of salt. Also, a wide pan for toasting and a jar for storing. Easy breezy, right?
You can find hulled sesame seeds in the bulk bins at Whole Foods or other natural markets. If you don’t have one near you, no worries, you can also purchase them on Amazon. While tahini can be made from un-hulled, sprouted, or hulled sesame seeds, I personally prefer to use hulled sesame seeds for my tahini for the flavor and smoothness.
Yield 2 cups
- 2 1/2 cups sesame seeds, hulled
- 1-2 tablespoons neutral flavored oil, such as grape seed (optional)
- pinch of salt
- SESAME SEEDS. Lightly toast sesame seeds by adding sesame seeds to a wide, dry saucepan on low to medium heat, stirring constantly until seeds become fragrant. Make sure not to brown. Once toasted transfer to a plate and let cool completely.
- MAKE TAHINI. Add sesame seeds to a food processor bowl and process until it becomes crumbly, about 1 minute. Then add 1 tablespoons of grape seed oil and process for about 2-4 minutes. Occasionally stop food processor to scrape down sides and to keep it from over-heating.
- CHECK CONSISTENCY. When tahini appears smooth and pourable try a taste to make sure it's not gritty. You can also add more grape seed oil at this time, if you are not achieving the correct consistency. Add a pinch of salt and process another minute.
- STORE. You can store tahini covered in the refrigerator for one month. I like to use a mason jar and put the date on it.
- ADD. Add tahini to dressings, hummus, veggies, and even desserts.
- OIL. Adding oil is optional. By doing so it may help create a smoother texture, but it will also alter the flavor slightly. Many times I make it without oil, especially when I am cutting down on my fats. Don't worry it will eventually turn creamy without oil, it just takes longer and more patience.
- STORE. The tahini may separate over time, like any natural nut butter would. If this happens, give the tahini a good shake or stir before using.
- HULLED. I choose to use hulled sesame seeds from the bulk bins at Whole Foods. I find that un-hulled can sometimes be bitter.
Cuisine middle eastern