Caution: Caveman Cooking

Recipes so easy, even a … Well, you know!

Tahini Paste

Posted by Caveman Cooking on June 2, 2010

Tahini Paste
This is the first, and perhaps most crucial, recipe of our week long culinary journey to the Middle East. You probably won’t want to eat it straight. But, if you are going to make just about any of the regional dishes, from Hummus to Falafel to Baba Ghannouj, you will need this simple little preparation as an ingredient. The good news is that you can make it ahead of time and it should last up to three weeks in the fridge.


3 Cups Raw Sesame Seeds
1 Cup Olive Oil


Preheat oven to 350. Spread sesame seeds evenly on large baking pan with raised sides.
Sesame Seeds

Place baking pan into oven to toast very lightly. You don’t want them starting to to turn brown. Be sure to toss and stir them often until done. Let cool for 15 minutes.
Tossing Sesame Seeds

Prepare one cup of olive oil. I like to use Extra Virgin (insert joke here ;)), but regular works, too. Just stay away from using the “Light” or “Extra Light” varieties for this application.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Place cooled seeds into food processor. Add oil evenly.
Oil and Seeds

Puree on high for 3-5 minutes, stopping occasionally to scrape sides with a rubber spatula. You don’t want any whole seeds left.
Oil and Seeds in Food Processor

When smooth and creamy, pour into an airtight container and refrigerate until ready for use.
Tahini Paste
NOTE: There has always been a bit of confusion over the terms “Tahini” and “Tahina”. Some folks use them interchangeably … but they would be wrong. 😉 The way it was explained to me years ago by an Israeli chef, Tahin-EE is the paste which we are making here. Tahin-AH is the smooth, creamy, delicious sauce you pour over falafels, salads, kabobs, and more. Guess what’s on the menu for tomorrow?!?

Prep Time = 30 Minutes
Cooking Time = 5-10 Minutes
Makes 2 1/4 Cups

©2010 Caution: Caveman Cooking/UHearMe, Inc. All rights reserved. This recipe originally appeared on the Caution: Caveman Cooking blog at authored by Caveman. This recipe may be shared and reprinted as long as this entire copyright message accompanies it.

13 Responses to “Tahini Paste”

  1. Ellington said

    Yeah, it’s good, very useful, thanks 🙂

  2. Viviane said

    Actually the info is wrong. Tahina is the written Arabic pronunciation, tahini us the spoken one in Lebanon. A lot of othe Mid-Eastern countries use the written Arabic pronunciation depending on dialect. The sauce used on Falafel etc.. called Tarator in Lebanon and Levant countries.
    Language lesson aside, so cool you got to prep at home, I think the ones we have are solely made of sesame, I have to check.

    • Viviane there is obviously a difference in the way these words are used in Hebrew and Arabic. I appreciate your lesson in the latter. Though, I always thought that “Tarator” was a form of cold Cucumber Soup. While “Tahina” is more of a sauce made without a cucumber in sight. 😉 Whatever one ends up calling it, it still tastes goooooooood!

  3. Shirley said

    Love Tahini.
    Do check out my version made with unhulled sesame, but ready to eat.

  4. boredcook said

    I’m excited to see what you will be making all week! Something new and exotic is always fun!

    On a side note, Hubby and I are supposed to be taking a Morrocan cooking class. I’m so excited to do it. If they ever have an opening that is. The Morrocan and Thai class seem to fill up even before I can get in to check out when the next opening is.

  5. Tahini really is a fantastic ingredient and now I’m excited that I can make my own.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: