For millennia, tahini has been known in many Middle Eastern counties as "the holy food". It is the essence of many well-known dishes like hummus and baba ganoush. But its uses don't stop there! This versatile nectar remains at the frontline of newer dishes like the tahini brownie and ice cream.
But to take advantage of this ancient staple, it's important to first know what it is. So, what is tahini and why is the word on everyone's lips?
Keep reading to find out more.
What Is Tahini?
If you are familiar with peanut butter, well, tahini is basically "sesame seed butter". Made from ground sesame seeds, tahini takes the form of thick paste with a buttery texture and produces the rich nutty flavour for which it is so well-known.
Tahini was once difficult to find. Years ago, you would have to go to a Middle Eastern specialist store to pick up a jar. This is now a thing of the past. Tahini is now available in most major supermarkets.
What's also good to know is that it's not too complicated to make from scratch. There are many recipes available online. But beware: not all tahinis are created equal.
Varieties of Tahini
Tahini is a staple in many Middle Eastern countries. Because of this, there are often slight variations in how it is prepared. Tahini can be prepared using either hulled or unhulled, sesame seeds. Hulled seeds include the removal of the seed's shell, giving the tahini a smoother consistency than unhulled.
Another variety includes using raw or roasted seeds for preparation. Roasted sesame seeds produce a more potent taste than their raw counterpart. Within those varieties, there is a spectrum of options of thickness, flavour, and colour.
Tahini Brownie or Hummus? That Is the Question
As we mentioned, tahini is an extremely useful ingredient for many foods from savoury dips to sweet and sticky treats.
In the Middle East, tahini is used for many salad dressings and sauces. It is the marriage between chickpeas and this legendary sesame paste that brings the flavour of hummus to life.
However, knowing how to experiment with tahini is where the magic really lies! It can be used as a healthier substitute for peanut butter and nut-based recipes. If you have a nut allergy and need an alternative, look no further! But do make sure to check if you have any sesame allergies.
It is also ideal for making syrupy toppings for desserts and is the signature ingredient of the irresistible tahini brownie.
Tahini is here to stay! It has long been "the food of the luxury" and will continue to give life to many new recipes.
If you are new to the flavour of tahini, why not check out its potential by trying our tahini brownie, baked with tender love and care. The combination of the nutty undertones of tahini blended with rich chocolate is a testament to the paste's versatility.
Your first bite may be the beginning of a beautiful relationship with this golden nectar.