It takes just three ingredients to create a creamy, light, and delicious homemade tahini sauce. Have it on its own with pita bread or drizzle some on a salad. Often, served alongside Middle-Eastern dishes like hummus and baba ganoush, falafel or shawarma.
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If you have eaten Middle Eastern food, whether it's Lebanese, Armenian, Arabic, Egyptian, or even Israeli, you must have seen this bowl of creamy sauce. Either as an appetizer or over a salad. It is also served alongside popular dishes like kebabs and shawarma or the popular falafel.
Some Middle Eastern countries refer to this as tahini paste while some called it tahina. It is the same and often used similarly too. Blended with chickpeas to make hummus or with eggplants to make a roasted eggplant dip Baba Ganoush or Mutable. As a dip and sauce with falafel, or generously topped over your favorite hummus. I have yet to a kebab or grilled meat in the Middle East unaccompanied by this sauce.
This tahini sauce is made from a thick paste of sesame seeds. The sesame seeds are soaked in water overnight, then crushed, so the bran and kernel are separated. The paste made from the kernels is then sold in supermarkets for us to use.
Most supermarkets have tahini paste or tahini sauce in the condiments isles these days. In some, you can find it in the aisle that sells foreign products. Sometimes the isle that sells, Middle Eastern or Asian foods.
You get two types of tahini paste. A light-colored paste, which is made from only the kernels. And, you can also find a more creamy pale tahini paste, which has the kernel and bran both made to a smooth paste. I usually use the second because it's got the kernels too. It's just like choosing processed white flour or whole wheat flour. The thick tahini paste makes a great base for many different uses, such as this sauce.
Ingredients and substitutes
- Garlic - You want to mince the garlic to a smooth paste, so it disappears into the sauce. You can do this easily by adding the salt to the garlic when chopping it. Press the garlic and salt with the flat of your knife to make a paste.
- Lemon juice - While I say 3 or 4 tbsp - it certainly is to taste. So, before you store it in a mason jar, taste your seasoning. When I make my salad dressing, I often use apple cider vinegar instead of lemon juice.
- Coldwater - Many people say to use warm water. But a chef once told me that if you use cold fridge water - it gives you a brighter color. Never questioned it, and I have been doing that for many years now. Room temperature water works just fine.
Step by step instructions
- In a mason jar, add the tahini paste, garlic, salt, pepper, and lemon juice.
- Next, add the water. Close the lid and give it a good shake.
- Taste and adjust seasoning – Adding more salt, pepper, or lemon juice to taste.
- Check consistency – Adding more water or more tahini paste if necessary.
- Tahini Sauce – Served with kebabs and meats. You do not need more water. Keep it thick.
- Salad dressing – Add a few more tablespoons of water so it's pouring consistency. Better yet, add a few tablespoons of yogurt to make a tahini yogurt dressing.
- Mint Tahini – Use a blender or food processor to make the sauce and add a few mint leaves (¼ cup) - Perfect with lamb kebabs.
What can you use homemade tahini sauce with?
Well? the possibilities are endless!!
- Try it just on its own as a dip! I serve a bowl of veggie sticks for my kids' pajama party. Kids love to dip their carrot and cucumber sticks in tahini sauce.
- In addition, I use it as a salad dressing. If you love creamy dressings tahini sauce works a treat.
- Do you steam veggies and then add lots of melted cheese over it to get your kids to eat veggies? Well, I drizzle good old tahini sauce.
- And if you make my homemade falafel (a popular recipe on this blog) recipe - I serve a side of tahini. Because tahini just makes falafel taste better.
- Also, if you make my shawarma chicken recipe, I always serve it with tahini.
- Tahini sauce works best with any meat or fish dishes. If you love kababs? This is a must-have with kebabs. Try my Moroccan Chicken skewers or Chicken Kebabs?
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- 1 cup (250 ml) Tahini paste
- ¾ cup (180 ml) Cold water
- 1 tsp Garlic minced
- ¼ tsp Salt
- ¼ tsp Pepper
- 4 tbsp Lemon juice
- In a mason jar add the tahini paste, garlic, salt, pepper, and lemon juice.
- Add the water. Close the lid and give it a good shake.
- Taste and adjust seasoning – adding more salt, pepper, or lemon juice to taste.
- Check consistency – adding more water or more tahini paste if necessary.
- Tahini Sauce – served with kebabs and meats – you do not need more water. Keep it thick
- Salad dressing – add a few more tablespoons of water so it’s pouring consistency. Better yet, add a few tablespoons of yogurt to make a tahini yogurt dressing
- Mint Tahini – use a blender or food processor to make the sauce and add a few mint leaves (¼ cup) – Perfect with lamb kebabs.
StorageTahini sauce has a long shelf life. I can stay in the fridge for a month but ours never last more than a day or two. My husband is middle eastern so he can eat Tahini with pita bread for dinner with a side salad.
A little tip - store the tahini is a mason jar because it does become thicker over time. Instead of going through the process of mixing it again. Just add a few tablespoons of water to the mason jar and give it a good shake. Voila!! It's back to consistency.
The nutrition information and metric conversion are calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee its accuracy. If this data is important to you please verify with your trusted nutrition calculator. Thank you