There is hardly an ingredient that is not more closely associated with the Levant than tahini. Without sesame, hummus would simply be a mush of chickpeas with garlic and lemon. It is only through the thickness of the tahini that the popular dips and creams of the Levant become what they are: True delicacies!
In the past I used to buy tahini in bulk in the oriental supermarket. You probably know the situation: Often the tahini you buy is a little older and has experienced longer journeys. So it takes a lot of time until it makes it onto the shelves here. And it also stands around in the shop for a while. This separates the sesame oil from the sesame seeds. The result is a nice double-decker, but you have to mix it thoroughly before you can use it as an ingredient. The quality is also often unsteady. Sometimes you get really good and sometimes unfortunately a bit too bitter tahini.
In the meantime I prefer to buy masses of peeled sesame seeds and make my own tahini. It’s so easy that I wondered why it took me so long to get my A**** up and finally give it a try. Because all you need is sesame seeds. That’s all it’s gonna take!
Well, of course you also need a blender that has some power and doesn’t collapse after 5 minutes and die because of gasping. But in terms of ingredients you just need sesame seeds.
Tahini: Blend and blend and blend and blend
When I first made Tahini myself, I was still a bit skeptical. How on earth is 100% sesame to become such a velvety, oily mush? And does my blender even manage to crush these little grains? My doubts shrank with every second the small sesame seeds rotated in the blender. At first nothing happened and they were just spun around in circles like in a carousel, but after a few minutes something happened.
First the consistency became flaky and you could see directly how the grains turned into grist. Again a few moments later the blender could already grab more sesame seeds. Then everything went very fast. The seeds, which were still individual before, became a mass, then a ball, then it became creamy, then at some point it became really liquid. Exciting!!! When I put my hand on the blender, I noticed that the mass inside was really warm. That was because of the friction. And that’s exactly why the oil came out of the sesame seeds until everything was mixed into a puree. The result: Best Tahini!
After the blender I put the tahini into a sterilized jar and I always have something for the next portions of hummus. And when it is empty, the blender has to go back into operation 😉
Before the blender comes the roasting
The beauty of homemade tahini is that it becomes what you want it to be. Before the sesame seeds go into the blender, they are gently roasted in a pan. It is important to stick with it and to keep moving and stirring the sesame seeds so that they do not burn. I love it when the wonderful smell of roasted sesame spreads throughout the kitchen. You can determine the degree of roasting yourself and thus also the intensity of the taste of your Tahini. I roast the sesame seeds for a maximum of 10 minutes on low heat. The sesame seeds remain rather light, but get enough heat to intensify their taste.
The first Mutabbal with your own tahini
There are many legends about Mutabbal. Some say that Mutabbal is a cream made from eggplant and tahini. That is correct. Others say Mutabbal is a cream of chickpeas and tahini. That is also correct. I’ll make it short. Mutabbal is a type of cream. Hummus, Baba Ghanoush, etc. belong to the type of Mutabbal. A cream made with garlic, lemon and lots of tahini. My first Mutabbal with the homemade tahini was hummus. And I can tell you, it was the best hummus I ever made.
Why would you make your own tahini?
I don’t think tahini is necessarily available in every supermarket. And when you do, it can be really, really expensive. Often the quality fluctuates. If you make your own Tahini, you are the Master of Quality! Treat yourself to peeled organic sesame seeds. Determine the intensity of the taste by roasting the sesame seeds yourself. And at the end a very important point: You know exactly that there is only 100% sesame in it.
Here a little FAQ
That depends. The shell contains the most nutrients. Unpeeled sesame usually contains the most nutrients, whereas peeled sesame has less. Tahini made from unpeeled sesame seeds is somewhat bitter, darker and not quite as fine. Tahini made from peeled sesame seeds is less bitter and velvety.
No! In the blender, the sesame seeds are not only ground, but also heated by the friction. This causes the sesame’s own oil to escape and the well-known mush is created.
Tahini can be kept for several weeks in a well-sterilized jar. Store Tahini in a cool, dry and dark place. Remember, though, that Tahini will eventually go rancid and will not be as tasty if you do not consume it.
How to make Tahini
- A good blender
- Preserving jar
- 500 g Sesame (peeled)
- Roast sesame seeds in a coated pan on low heat for about 10 minutes while stirring continuously.
- Put the roasted sesame seeds in the blender and blend for about 20 minutes. To avoid overloading the blender please take breaks and use the time to push the sesame seeds off the walls of the blender with a spatula. Continue to blend the sesame seeds until a liquid paste is produced.
- Fill the finished Tahini into a sterilized preserving jar.