This article provides an overview of tahini, what it tastes like, its availability, alternative names, and of course what other ingredients make tahini substitutes.
What is Tahini?
Tahini is a Middle Eastern condiment that is usually served as a dip, or as an ingredient in hummus, baba ghanoush, and halva.
Tahini is made into a paste from raw or lightly toasted, ground hulled sesame seeds and has been around for over 4000 years.
What does Tahini taste like?
Tahini has a nutty and earthy taste that can be a little bitter. It is similar in consistency to nut butters, such as peanut butter, although not as sweet tasting.
Is Tahini readily available in Supermarkets?
Tahini should be readily available in most large supermarkets, usually found in the condiments section or the world foods section. Additionally, many online retailers and health stores usually sell it.
What are some alternative names for Tahini?
Tahini is commonly referred to as sesame seed paste, although they are slightly different. Sesame paste is much richer in flavor and made from toasted sesame seeds.
What is a good substitute for Tahini in recipes?
Luckily, there are a number of great substitutes for tahini. These include:
- The best substitute for tahini would be sesame paste and they can usually be used interchangeably in recipes, although the flavor will differ slightly.
- You can also substitute for other nut butters, as well as a combination of greek yogurt and sesame oil
The Cuisines which use Tahini
Tahini is a staple ingredient in many Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines, particularly in dishes from Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, and Greece. It is often used as a base for sauces and dips such as hummus, baba ghanoush, and tahini sauce, which is commonly used to top grilled meats, fish, and vegetables.
In Israeli and Palestinian cuisine, tahini is used in a variety of dishes, from the classic hummus and falafel to salads and even desserts. In Lebanon, it is commonly used in dishes such as baba ghanoush, kebabs, and fattoush salad. Tahini is also a key ingredient in the Greek dip, taramasalata.
Tahini’s versatility makes it a popular ingredient in vegan and vegetarian cooking, as it can be used to add creaminess and depth of flavor to dishes without using dairy. It is also a great source of plant-based protein, healthy fats, and minerals such as calcium, iron, and magnesium.