Tahini sauce is a speciality condiment item widely used in Middle Eastern cooking. Made with crushed sesame seeds mixed with garlic, lemon juice and salt; thinned with water constitutes this sauce which is usually used as a dip with Arab bread. Tahini is also used as sauce ingredient for various fish and vegetable dishes. Basically Tahini is a paste made from the ground, hulled sesame seeds which is widely used in North African, Greek, Turkish and Middle Eastern cuisines. It is generally served as a dip on its own or as a major component of hummus, baba ghanoush and halva.
Tahini sauce is usually used in falafel sandwiches in the same manner that mayonnaise is used in subs. Tahini is the base sauce, rich, creamy having a nutty flavour and are used as dressings of meat, vegetables and salads. Typically the dressing is made of thinning tahini with ingredients such as lemon juice or water, dill pepper or other fresh herbs that adds extra flavours to the dish. Many of these sauces also incorporate olive oil, a staple of Mediterranean cuisine.
The flavour of tahini is comparable to sesame paste, although it tends to be creamier with slightly gritty texture of sesame paste. Traditionally the tahini sauce is made by blanching the sesame seeds in hot water that helps in removing their hulls. The hulls are then skimmed off and the remaining flesh of the seeds is allowed to drain before being ground usually adding a small amount of salt and olive which makes the sauce thick, nutty paste, like nut butters in consistency and flavour.
Sesame seeds Probably originating in Africa, sesame has been cultivated for its seed and oil since ancient times in the Old World. The African word for sesame is benne. The word sesame is of Semitic origin, reaching the English language in the 15th century via Greek sesamon and Latin sesamum. The sesame seed contains between 40% to 50% oil and is notable for its resistance to rancidity. These tiny seeds of the plant Sesamum indicum have been attributed with magical powers for creating mystical and exclusive dishes.
These seeds were thought to have first originated in India and were mentioned in early Hindu legends. In these legends, tales are told in which sesame seeds represent a symbol of immortality. From India, sesame seeds were introduced throughout the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Sesame seeds were one of the first crops processed for oil as well as one of the earliest condiments. The addition of sesame seeds to baked goods can be traced back to ancient Egyptian times from an ancient tomb painting that depicts a baker adding the seeds to bread dough.
Sesame seeds add a nutty taste and a delicate, almost invisible, crunch to many Asian dishes. They are also the main ingredients in tahini (sesame seed paste) and the wonderful Middle Eastern sweet call halvah. They are available throughout the year. Sesame seeds are a very good source of the minerals, copper and manganese. They are also a good source of magnesium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, vitamin B1 selenium, and zinc.
In addition, sesame seeds are a good source of both dietary fiber and monounsaturated fats. Tahini is a source of the healthy fatty acids omega-3 and omega-6. Tahini made from raw sesame seeds is lower in fat than tahini made from roasted seeds. Tahini recipes Some of the popular dishes made with tahini are Samak Bil Tahini, Hummus bi tahina, Fish bakes in sesame sauce etc.
How to make Tahini sauce:
- Sesame seeds - 1 cup
- Garlic, chopped - 1 tbsp
- Lemon juice - 3 tbsp
- Olive oil - 3 tbsp
- Salt - to taste
In a blender put in raw sesame seeds, salt, water, garlic, lemon juice and blend into a fine paste.
Add olive oil and mix well. In Middle Eastern, Central and Far East Asian cuisines, both sesame paste and sesame oil is widely used.
However, the Middle Eastern products cannot be substituted for the Asian versions or vice versa.
To try making the Tahini sauce, do watch and enjoy cooking:https://www.vahrehvah.com/tahini-sauce-indian-recipe