Thursday, February 14, 2013

Tahini and Hummus

I have wanted to do this for a long time. After having a taste of this in Aleppo, I sorely miss khbez bread scooped in a bowl of hummus. But before one can have a good hummus, it needs one main ingredient,
Tahini. I have searched high and low for a good tahini in manila and groceries around Cavite but I can't find one, so I figured why not make one? where I can have control of how much oil and sesame seeds I can use, I researched online on how to make one, plus the tips my Syrian friend Muhammad Sleman who is a great cook himself, gave on making tahini and hummus, I had the seeds toasted the way I wanted, lightly brown but not on the burnt side. Here is my personal observation if you plan to make tahini,

It is much better to toast it on pan than roast the seeds in the oven, and think of one thing; peanut butter. Making peanut butter and tahini has the same procedure, only difference is you won't use butter nor add sugar but olive oil, I could not believe how much the finished product smelled like peanut butter. 

Also be aware of the consistency of the tahini, I like mine a bit nutty and rich in olive oil, adjust oil use according to your preference. The recipe I followed was really easy and simple, better than jar bought versions and cost effective. Good luck on making one. - HIR.

 Tahini is a paste made of ground sesame seeds which are used in many near and Far East recipes. This is a traditional recipe that is very simple to make with a blender or food processor. It is versatile and high in calcium, 2 tablespoons of tahini offers 130mg of calcium.


50 gms. sesame seed

3 tbsps. olive oil


Toast sesame seeds in a pan, brown lightly, allow to cool,Pour sesame seeds into food processor and add olive oil. Blend for 2 minutes. 

Process until it is very smooth. The goal is a thick, yet pourable texture.

Add more oil and 

blend until desired consistency. Aim for a thick pourable mix.Serve with pitas.

Tahini  (طحينه‎ ) is  a Middle Eastern pantry essential. It is the foundation for many  Middle Eastern recipes specifically syrian levant cuisine dishes like hummus and baba ghanoush. Tahini must be stored in the refrigerator in a tightly closed container. It will keep for up to 3 months.

Hummus (حُمُّص‎) is a Middle Eastern and Arabic food dip or spread made from cooked, mashed chickpeas blended with tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic.Today, it is popular throughout the Middle East, Turkey, North Africa, Morocco, and in Middle Eastern cuisine and around the globe.

Hummus is one of the more popular Middle Eastern dips. Served with fresh or toasted pita bread,hummus makes for a great snack or appetizer.
Tahini is an important part of the hummus recipe and cannot be substituted. 


450 gms cooked chickpeas (1 big can of GINA brand garbanzos) reserve 1/4 cup liquid from the can.
juice of 1 lemon
1 clove garlic
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cumin powder


Drain chickpeas and set aside liquid from can. Mix drained chickpeas with remaining ingredients in blender or food processor. Add 1/4 cup of liquid from chickpeas. Blend for 3-5 minutes on low until thoroughly mixed and smooth. 

To prepare:

Place in serving bowl, using a small spoon create a shallow well, or make a moat in the center of the hummus.

Add a small amount (1-2 tablespoons) of olive oil in the well. Garnish with parsley (optional) paprika and cumin powder.

Serve immediately with fresh, warm or toasted pita.

Hummus can be refrigerated for up to 3 days and can be kept in the freezer for up to one month. Add a little olive oil if it appears to be too dry.

Health Benefits of Tahini and Hummus
  • Hummus is high in fiber that slows digestion and keeps blood sugar levels from rising too quickly.

  • Chickpeas contain iron and manganese that keep our energy levels up and our blood healthy. Chickpeas are also a complete protein and a healthy source of carbohydrates.

  • Olive oil is a wonderful source of healthy fats. Healthy fats are extremely important because they help us keep our hair, skin, and nails healthy. They are also great for weight loss.

  • Tahini is also high in protein and is a great source of calcium.

  • Garlic – studies have shown that garlic is extremely important for warding off colds, cancer prevention, heart disease prevention, and fighting infection.


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