Tahini is a
paste made from ground sesame seeds. It is a
major ingredient in hummus and other dishes
from the Middle East. It can be purchased
fresh, in cans, in jars, or dehydrated.
Tahini comes in two varieties - 'hulled' and
'unhulled'. Both types are relatively high
in vitamins and contain a small amount of
protein. Unhulled tahini is quite bitter but
has a much higher proportion of vitamins,
calcium, and protein because the sesame
seeds are ground whole.
As a spread, tahini can replace peanut
butter on bread. Tahini paste is often used
in a wide variety of dishes. You can find it
in most Arabic restaurants as a side dish or
as a garnish. It is often mixed with lemon
juice, salt and garlic, then thinned with
water to create a sauce. Tahini sauce is a
popular condiment for meat and vegetables in
Middle Eastern cuisine. Tahini is considered
an exotic dish due to the lack of production
of sesame in Western countries.
In Turkey, Tahini mixed with Pekmez is
common as a breakfast item, especially in
Tahini (or "tehina"
in Hebrew, "tahin" in Turkish)