Makes about 200 ml tahini paste
Tahini is a well-known condiment originating from the Middle East and Mediterranean. Its flavour and health properties have become so popular that it’s appearing in recipes far and wide. Although tahini is often shop-bought, you only need two ingredients to make it at home. Westfalia Avocado Oil and sesame seeds become a thick, nutty paste that can be used in many ways, like this herby sauce. It is sure to turn any simple ingredient into something special.
500 ml (2 cups) sesame seeds
60 ml (¼ cup) Westfalia Plain Avocado Oil
Herby tahini sauce (enough for 4 – 6 portions)
15 ml (1 tbsp) lemon juice
45 ml (3 tbsp) water
7,5 ml (½ tbsp) lemon rind
about 15 ml (1 tbsp) chopped fresh Italian parsley and mint
pomegranate pips, extra toasted sesame seeds and herbs to serve
1. Tahini paste: Heat a large frying pan without any oil, over a medium heat. Add sesame seeds and toast until golden brown. Toss the pan continuously to toast the seeds evenly. Take care as they can easily burn. Remove from the pan and allow to cool down completely.
2. Place cooled-down seeds in a bowl and blend with a stick blender until crumbly. Add the avocado oil and blend to form a smooth paste. The consistency will depend on the type of blender used.
3. Store tahini paste in a sterilised jar with a thin layer of avocado oil on top. Keep in the fridge until needed (for up to 30 days).
4. Herby tahini sauce: To enjoy as a sauce, combine 90 ml (6 tbsp) of the homemade tahini paste with the lemon juice, water and lemon rind. When you add these, it may look like the tahini starts to separate, but just keep mixing as it will come together. Stir in the herbs.
5. Serve on braaied or roasted veggies, like brinjal, corn or mushrooms, and meat. Sprinkle with pomegranate pips, extra sesame seeds and herbs. For more ideas see the tips below.
1. Serve the herby tahini sauce over oven-roasted veggies or baked potatoes or sweet potatoes. It is also delicious as a dip for raw veggies with more toasted sesame seeds for dipping. Or stir into noodles, grains or pulses, like bulgar wheat or lentils.
2. Thin the herby tahini sauce even further with a few tablespoons of water and use as a delicious salad dressing.
3. For an interesting flavour, substitute the herbs in the herby tahini sauce for miso paste to taste. Enjoy on meat, chicken or veggies.
4. The tahini paste may separate slightly in the fridge – just mix through again before using.
5. Tahini is delicious as a seasoning. Add it to your favourite hummus recipe, stir into a brinjal purée or use on a wrap or in a pita with fresh salad ingredients.
6. Tahini is a wonderful vegan-friendly ingredient. The seeds add a small portion of protein and can be combined with other plant-based proteins for a wholesome vegan meal. Include it as part of your braai table with braaied veggies as a plant-based side dish. Add chickpeas to make it a filling meal for any vegans that may be sharing the meal.