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Jul 11, 2009 03:49 AM

Want to make hummus, lack Tahini

So, I really like the Tribe brand of hummus, classic flavor. I have a food processor, and I'm not afraid to use it, so I'd like to take a stab at making my own. I've looked over several recipes and I think I can hammer something edible out, save for the Tahini issue. I live in the rural midwest, and the stuff just doesn't seem to be available in the local megamarts. I'm not really inclined to drive an hour or order some off of the intertubes just for one dish. And I really do like the taste of sesame. The idea of using peanut butter instead doesn't really appeal to me.

So, I was thinking about subbing out some of the traditional olive oil with the sesame oil I am able to obtain easily. I know this might change the texture a bit, but I'm thinking the flavor might be closer to what I'm expecting. None of the recipes I looked at (and I looked hard) call for this ingredient though. The ones that do omit the Tahini just seem to not replace it with anything.

Here is what I am thinking of giving a whirl:

1 can drained chick peas
1/8 cup of water, more if needed
1/2 head roasted garlic
Juice of 1 lemon, more if needed
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Sesame Oil
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon Cumin
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

So, anyone have any ideas at to if I might be on the right track or not?

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  1. I think you're on the right track but since sesame oil has so much flavor, I would start by adding a tsp at a time. Ever since I made a hummus-like spread from overgrown green beans (recipe was in a gardening cookbook) I've realized I can work with flavors and it doesn't have to be authentic. I really like sesame paste, though. Have you check health food stores and food coops?

    1. You can substitute the sesame oil, but I agree with dfrostnh, to add it a teaspoon at a time and taste. It's a very powerful flavor.

      You can also buy sesame seeds, toast them lightly, run them through the food processer and then a strainer to remove the seed shells, and make your own tahini.

      5 Replies
      1. re: weezycom

        Hi! My recipe for hummus calls for toasted sesame seeds, but I never strained anything out. It all gets buzzed up together in the blender. While I'm at it, here's the recipe, should you want to give it a go (OP/Annie). I like it very much and it sounds similar to your recipe:

        3 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
        1 15-20 oz. can chick peas, drained
        3 tablespoons olive oil
        finely chopped parsley
        3 tablespoons lemon OR lime juice
        2 cloves garlic, minced
        1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt
        pepper to taste

        In small skillet, toast sesame seeds over medium heat until golden, shaking the pan often. Set aside.

        Place chick peas, oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper in blender and blend till smooth. If too thick, add 2-3 tablespoons of chick pea juice. Add sesame seeds. Blend; chill.

        1. re: kattyeyes

          This might be a dumb question but after the seeds are blended with the already-blended chickpeas, are they also ground up or can you see them whole in the hummus?

          1. re: Val

            No. Grinding toasted sesame seeds results in a paste.

            1. re: Sam Fujisaka

              That's what threw me off about weezycom's comment. I never found anything to strain! :)

        2. re: weezycom

          High five to weezycom - If I ever make hummus, I make my own tahini this way. If you do this, you'll soon find that tahini is quite green/sour in flavor...and perhaps never use it again.

        3. Annie...the responses about the sesame oil are correct; it is strongly flavored. And it might work, who knows? But you might ask at the front desk of your supermarket for Joyva Tahini...that's the brand they sell here in WASP-y SW Florida at Publix...they sell it near the Kosher foods so maybe just ask them where would you find Kosher foods, such as matzoh, etc. I'll bet it's there somewhere.

          1. I tried subbing asian sesame oil for tahini recently. The hummus tasted good, but not traditional. I would start with a half teaspoon.

            1. I have made hummus with sesame seeds I fried in Korean sesame oil. It comes out great, even though tahineh is made with untoasted sesame, I am partial to sesame flavor so I really liked it.