Growing up in the Middle East, Tahini was a staple in my home and almost every home! This easy tahini sauce recipe is creamy, tangy, and nutty.
My recipe includes high-quality tahini paste, fresh lemon juice, garlic, salt, ground cumin, and water, and my secret ingredient is a drizzle of white vinegar!
I like to serve this creamy sauce with shawarma and grilled meats such as kofta, lamb chops, or lamb shanks, and of course, tahini is a perfect pair with falafel!
This vegan sauce, nutty sesame seed paste, is a mainstay in Middle Eastern cooking, making it the ultimate dip (mezze), spread, or salad dressing.
What is Tahini?
Tahini reigns supreme in the hearts and minds of almost all Middle Eastern folks, especially my family and friends, making it a common ingredient in popular sweet and savory foods, such as hummus, baba ganoush, and halva.
In its simplest form, tahini is a paste made from ground, hulled sesame seeds. The seeds are typically roasted before grounding, giving tahini its distinctive deep, nutty flavor. The consistency is similar to peanut butter but with a slightly bitter, complex taste that is uniquely its own.
Why We Love Tahini Sauce?
- Tahini’s magic lies in its versatility. It can be used in both savory and sweet dishes and has a unique ability to enhance flavors while letting other ingredients shine.
- In savory dishes, tahini can be used as a base for dressings, sauces, and dips. It adds a rich, creamy texture and a subtle nutty flavor that is hard to resist. A classic example is tahini sauce, a blend of tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and water, often used in Middle Eastern cuisine as a dip or drizzle over falafel, shawarma, or grilled vegetables.
- In sweet dishes, tahini offers a sophisticated twist. When paired with honey or maple syrup, it creates a delightful contrast between sweet and savory, making it perfect for desserts. Think tahini brownies, tahini cookies, or even tahini ice cream. The possibilities are endless.
- Easy to Make at Home. Homemade tahini allows you to control the consistency and flavor, making it perfect for your specific needs.
- Tahini is Vegan, Dairy-free, and Gluten-free and can be part of Paleo and keto diets!
- It is an excellent alternative to peanut butter for peanut allergy or any nut allergy!
Is Tahini good for you?
- Tahini is relatively low in calories but high in fiber, protein, and essential minerals such as Copper and Selenium, making it a healthy alternative to sugar-filled condiments such as ketchup!
- Copper: Copper is an essential element, and it provides a lot of health benefits, such as the absorption of dietary iron (Iron that exists in your food) and regulating blood pressure (1)
- Selenium helps decrease inflammation and promote immune health (2)
- Sesame Seeds (the main component of tahini) have been linked to many heart-healthy effects, such as lowering blood pressure (3)
Downsides of consuming Tahini
- Tahini is high in fats! Omega-6 fatty acids are considered healthy fats, yet it’s still important to keep your overall fat intake moderate, especially if you are trying to lose weight!
- Tahini can cause a severe allergic reaction in individuals allergic to sesame!
Tahini Sauce Ingredients:
This tahini sauce has basic and simple ingredients available in every pantry.
- Tahini paste: This recipe is all about tahini! So make sure to choose the best tahini. (Affiliate Link)
- Fresh Lemon Juice: Fresh squeezed lemon juice gives that tangy taste. I don’t recommend using bottled lemon juice!
- White Vinegar: This is my secret for the best tahini sauce; add a little bit to get that tangy taste tahini sauce needs.
- Fresh garlic: minced garlic clove gives a hint of garlic flavor that is not overpowering. If you are out of fresh garlic, skip it, and don’t add garlic powder; it makes a difference!
- Ground Cumin: It adds depth and complexity to the tahini sauce, complementing the nuttiness of the ground sesame seeds.
- Sea Salt to taste
- Water: I prefer to add warm water as it helps smooth the tahini. Depending on the sauce, you will adjust the amount of water added; less water for thick tahini as dips and spread, and more water for thin tahini sauce as a dressing.
- Fresh parsley: Use fresh chopped parsley as a garnish to add an extra layer of flavor!
How to make the Best Tahini Sauce?
This recipe is easy and quick to make. It can be done in the food processor, using a fork or a whisk.
- Add the tahini paste to a small bowl.
- Add the minced garlic, salt, cumin, lemon juice. Whisk vigorously; the consistency will be very thick and light in color.
- Pour in the water gradually and whisk (always start with little water, then add more to reach the desired consistency).
- Continue whisking until smooth and creamy (Tahini sauce should generally have a runny consistency).
- Adjust the lemon juice and salt to taste.
- Add the fresh chopped parsley on top. Add you all set!
- Adjust the consistency. Use less water if you use the sauce as a dip or a spread. If you use it as a salad dressing, use more water.
- I recommend adjusting the lemon juice and salt added because every jar of tahini will vary in consistency and acidity.
- Remember that using warm water will result in runny tahini, but don’t worry, it will start to thicken when it cools down, and you will get a perfect consistency.
- Tahini brands might have different consistencies, requiring a good stir or shake before mixing the paste with the oil.
- This recipe is the basic tahini sauce, but you can add seasoning or herbs such as paprika, cayenne pepper, fresh parsley, or cilantro.
What to Serve with Tahini Sauce?
- Tahini sauce is perfect and yummy as a spread for sandwiches such as Falafel, Shawarmas, Fish, and Kabobs.
- Also, tahini is an incredible dressing for salads.
- This authentic tahini sauce is suitable as a dip with air fryer pita chips, warm pita bread or sliced fresh veggies.
- The sesame paste is the main ingredient in many dishes such as hummus recipe, baba ganoush, and muhamara.
Where to find in Stores?
You can find a jar of tahini in major grocery stores, the international foods aisle, and Middle Eastern grocery stores, or you can get our favorite tahini online here!
How to Store?
Raw Tahini Jar: Raw Tahini is stored at room temperature, but it should be refrigerated once opened. And it can last for at least six months refrigerated.
Tahini Sauce: Place in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to a week.
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