Tahini (Sesame Seed Paste) Recipe

Tahini dip on a spoon
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Ratings (17)
  • Total: 10 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 1/2 Cup Paste (2 Portions)

Tahini is a paste made of ground sesame seeds which are used in many Near Eastern, Middle Eastern and Far Eastern recipes. This is a traditional recipe that is very simple to make with a blender or food processor.

Sesame seed paste, or tahini, is used in recipes for Middle Eastern ​hummus, a dip made from chickpeas, baba ghanouj, an eggplant dip also spelled baba ghannouj, baba ghanoush and baba ganoush, and halva, among other dishes.

This recipe makes 1/2 cup of tahini, so if your recipe calls for more (as a halva recipe would), then double, triple or quadruple the proportions in this recipe, as needed.


  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup tepid water

Steps to Make It

  1. Place 2 tablespoons sesame seeds in a blender or food processor and grind until smooth. Add 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Process until combined.

  2. With the motor running, add 1/4 cup tepid water in a very slow, steady stream and blend until smooth.

  3. Store tightly covered in the refrigerator.

Note: Sesame seeds turn rancid quickly, so make certain yours are fresh. Be sure to store them away from light and heat and use quickly. For more information on sesame seeds, check out these sesame seed cooking tips and recipes.

Sesame Seeds Thought to Bring Luck

Sesame seeds are considered to bring good luck and are seen in many foods, especially around New Year's, like this African benne cake/cookie that is a favorite treat at celebrations of the American holiday of Kwanzaa. Other examples would include Chinese sesame balls and sesame-topped bagels.

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