This tahini sesame paste only has THREE ingredients and can be made in 10 minutes! And not only that, but tahini sauce is shelf-stable for a LONG time. A few other tahini sauce recipes have a 1-month shelf life, but this tahini paste lasts SEVERAL months. All you need to do is store the tahini sauce in an air-tight container, and that's about it.
Toasted sesame seeds, oil, and salt are all shelf-stable for several months, so you can expect the same thing for this tahini sesame paste.
What is Tahini Sesame Paste?
Tahini sauce sesame paste is a very common ingredient in Middle Eastern cooking, and sometimes it's hard to find. If you have Amazon delivery in your area, then you can order this tahini sauce online. If you have no access to tahini sesame paste at the grocery store or online, then you can easily make it at home.
I'm trying to think of how to describe tahini sauce for those of you that are unfamiliar with it. The consistency of tahini sesame paste kind of reminds me of homemade nut butter.
Ingredients You'll Need:
- Sesame seeds: You have 2 options here: raw or toasted. If you get raw sesame seeds, then you will need to toast them yourself which is very easy to do. If you find toasted sesame seeds, then you can bypass the toasting step and just stick them directly in the food processor. Make sure your sesame seeds are not expired or rancid.
- Oil: You can use a neutral flavor oil or olive oil. I prefer to use olive oil because I like the taste of olive oil.
- Salt: I add a little bit of salt to my tahini to balance it out.
You will also need:
How to Toast Sesame Seeds
The key to toasting sesame seeds is low and slow. The very first time I made tahini sauce, I actually burnt the seeds and didn't realize it.
There are a few key steps to toasting the seeds:
- Don't overfill your nonstick frying pan. You can toast the seeds in a few batches if needed. This ensures that the seeds are evenly toasted.
- Keep the pan on medium-low heat while continuously stirring.
- You will notice a very slight color change when the sesame seeds are toasting. I keep some raw sesame seeds next to me to compare the color. Once you notice the slight color change, it's time to remove the seeds from the pan. See the image below in the slight coloration change. Once you notice the seeds are slightly darker, it's time to take these babies off the stovetop!
How to Make Tahini Sesame Paste
In order to make the sesame paste, you need to use a food processor. It takes a little bit of time for the sesame seeds to start to break down and form a paste. About halfway through blending the sesame seeds, you will add the oil. Add the oil gradually until you reach your desired consistency. I prefer a thicker paste closer to peanut butter, so I do not add much oil.
Blend The Tahini Paste
Most people stop there when creating tahini sauce, but I'm going to share a trick I've discovered that makes this sauce even better. Once the desired consistency is reached in the food processor, transfer it to the Vitamix blender. Blend the tahini sesame paste on high for about 30 seconds. The tahini paste will be extra smooth and creamy.
If you don't have a blender, you can stop at the food processor step. If you have a blender, I highly recommend following through with the last step of making the tahini extra creamy. You can even tell in the photo below how much smoother the sauce is!
If your recipe calls for tahini and you need a substitute ingredient, you can generally substitute peanut butter or almond butter, however, it entirely depends on how the tahini is being used. For Middle Eastern cooking, if I don't have tahini then I just leave it out altogether. Or, if it's a blended recipe like this hummus recipe without tahini, I will use raw sesame seeds in lieu of tahini paste.