How to make… tahini

Tahini. That nutty sesame seed paste, and backbone to many a good hummus, can be made at home with minimal effort. It requires sesame seeds, a flavourless oil, and about 10 minutes of your time. And it goes something like this…

Place at least 100g of sesame seeds in a dry frying pan. Any less will make it difficult to blitz in your food processor later. Toast over a medium-high heat, stirring and shaking the pan continuously. Keep a close eye on them so they don’t burn; a bitter seed will give you bitter tahini.

Tip into a food processor and blitz to a rough paste.

With the processor still going, slowly add a drizzle of flavourless oil. I used light olive oil. Keep going, adding small drizzles of the oil until you get the consistency you like – the more oil, the smoother it will be. It will also dilute it’s flavour a little, so I try to strike a balance, adding small amounts of oil until it’s just smooth enough.

And that’s it. Tahini!

Use tahini to make hummus by blitzing a good few tablespoons of it with chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice, ground cumin and sea salt. As I found in Israel, hummus is the basis of many a last-minute meal.

Or mix with yoghurt, lemon juice and sea salt, and serve with char-roasted vegetables and toasted seeds. Try this recipe.

Or mix with water, lemon juice and salt, sprinkle with za’atar, then drizzle it on crusty bread or falafel – my favourite!

Or make these (vegan) tahini biscuits. Cute Alma, not included.

I think I’ll leave it there…