If you've ever had falafel, you have probably had this garlic tahini yogurt sauce known as tahina. This is the nutty creamy sauce that's got a little bit of a garlicky lime kick. It's a very versatile sauce that can be eaten on falafel sandwiches or mixed into ful medames.
My husband makes the best tahina sauce, so that's who I went to for this recipe. Just like other family recipes, he didn't have exact measurements. So, I measured out the spoons he used to give some exact numbers. As you make this sauce, taste it and adjust it to your liking.
What's The Difference Between Tahini and Tahina?
Tahini is just plain ground sesame paste. Whereas tahina is a sauce made from tahini, plain yogurt, lime juice, and crushed fresh garlic. Tahina sauce is the tahini yogurt sauce that is added to falafel or ful medames.
Ingredients You'll Need:
- Tahini Sesame Paste: Tahini can be store-bought or homemade for this recipe, either will work. Homemade tahini is easy to make using a food processor.
- Plain Yogurt: I use plain unsweetened yogurt for this recipe. Greek plain yogurt is also suitable. I do not recommend using any type of sweet yogurt for this recipe because this is a savory sauce.
- Lime Juice: I recommend using fresh lime juice to taste. I normally start with half a lime and then adjust depending on the taste of the sauce.
- Fresh Garlic: I use fresh garlic for this tahini yogurt sauce. I do not recommend using powder garlic, flaked garlic, or canned garlic if you have fresh garlic available. Mash the garlic with a mortar and pestle or use a garlic press. I don't recommend chopping the garlic with a knife either- it's just not the same.
- Pinch of Salt and Pepper: Literally a tiny itty bitty pinch.
- Water: The consistency of the sauce is changed depending on the amount of water added.
How To Make Tahini Yogurt Sauce (Step-By-Step)
- Using a garlic press or mortar and pestle, mash the garlic.
- Squeeze the lime over the garlic.
- Add the tahini sesame paste and yogurt to the bowl. Mix well until a peanut butter consistency has formed.
- Add water until you have reached your desired consistency.
Tips and Tricks
- Add the right amount of water. I start off by adding equal parts of water and tahini paste. For thinner tahina sauce, double the water. For thicker tahina sauce, keep the ratio equal parts water and equal parts tahini paste.
- Mash the garlic. Garlic takes on an entirely different flavor chopped or mashed. I recommend either mashing the garlic with a mortar and pestle or using a garlic press.
- Make ahead. This garlic tahini yogurt sauce can be made several days ahead. Store the tahina sauce in the fridge for up to 5 days.