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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.

              1. Definitely be careful with the sesame oil, too much makes the hummus taste more like peanut butter than if you had actually added peanut butter. (I know this cause i made this mistake last week with a huge batch for a catered party. Ooops. Hot Sauce and extra lemon juice helped correct the problem.)

                1 Reply
                1. re: Jessica Laurel

                  I grew up in a Lebanese household where Hummus was a staple dish. After getting married my wife started buying prepared hummus in the supermarket When the price got up to around $5 bucks for a small round container of the more popular commercial brands , we decided to try making it at home with the food processor.
                  I agree with all of the previous recipe posts that : a. it's much cheaper to make it at home. and b.
                  it tastes much better than store bought.
                  We did make one slight alteration to the basic recipe: because Tahini is rather expensive, we tried substituting penut butter.in small quantities. Result = slightly different flavor but still delicious. I gather from tha above responses that using PB is a no-no; How can I offset the taste, ie: extra lemon-juice, tabasco sauce, etc.?

                2. I am always working on perfecting my hummus recipe, dictated my addiction to Bobbi's Garlic Hummus, which I have only found in one store in my area but gravitate to like a moth to the flame. It is SO good and they do not use tahini. No tahini. If you ever see a container of Bobbi's hummus, pick one up, despite the expense. It is not cheap. But it is hummus heaven. Lots of roasted garlic, lemon, oil, salt and pepper, chick peas, of course.....very smooth texture. Have not been able to get it totally right but I have fun trying.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: mvi

                    My grandson told me I was going to have to go to rehab. I said, "What?" He said, "Yeah, you are addicted to hummus!" He is right. I really love this stuff.

                  2. I think the toasted sesame seed idea is best for authentic flavour; you could always try unsweetened peanut butter--or, as I did recently, almond butter, which made a fabulous hummus, too.

                    10 Replies
                    1. re: Full tummy

                      Thanks for the replies, all. I will take is easy with the sesame oil, I know it's easier to put in than to take out.

                      The economy factor is a big motivator for me to make my own. I've been slowly regaining the weight I lost, so I'm trying a new tactic. I've bought a case of low calorie, high fiber crackers which I'm going to eat fullbar style before meals to see if it helps me curb my appetite. I love hummus on crackers, and it is pretty healty stuff, so I think I'll be eating much more of this stuff. Tribes is good, but it can get pricey fast.

                      1. re: Tea_annie

                        Making your own hummus is much more economical; I've recently even begun buying dried chickpeas, soaking, then cooking to save even more money, inspired by others on this board. Don't forget--hummus also tastes great on fresh vegetables...celery/carrot sticks...red bell pepper strips...low calorie and high fiber AND good source of vitamins/antioxidants!

                        1. re: Val

                          My friend and I made hummus last night, mostly following the recipe I posted above, but adjusted for the fact that he had tahini on hand AND had both fresh garlic and garlic scapes (both pulled right out of the ground right before we started to prep this dish)--so we had at least double the amount of the garlic, but it was in no way overpowering. It's nice to know how foolproof the recipe is. :)

                          1. re: kattyeyes

                            Kattyeyes, I went last week to buy tahini and of course the one time I want it, not a single jar to be found. We have a nice store and they cater to many many ethnic cultures, so usually I can find the ingredients for just about anything I want to cook. Well except for cloud ears and tiger lily... guess I need to go to Oakland.

                            But anyway, does the toasted sesame seeds really taste as good as the prepared? And how long can I keep it? Or do you only make it as you need?
                            I'd love to make my own and I will try your recipe! TIA!

                            1. re: chef chicklet

                              Hi, chef chicklet! Up till last night, I have only made hummus using the recipe above. Last night, since I was having dinner at our friends' place and they had tahini, we used the prepared tahini.

                              I promise you the toasted sesames are delicious. I'm guessing that's the original way people must have made hummus (not having access to prepared tahini way back when). I just toast the sesame seeds as needed per recipe. I have jars of 'em from Penzey's, but know there are other places you can get them (just can't point you there). Let me know how you like it. We now know you can really garlic it up and it's still yummy. Oh, and my buddy threw a little chipotle in there, too.

                              1. re: kattyeyes

                                omg you're so right about "original way people must have made hummus". Bet the addition of the jalapeno was good too, I am making this today. In fact I to make a flatbread today with either spinach and garlic. or something...

                          2. re: Val

                            Me too! I have recently reduced my allotted food budget and am trying to rise to the challenge. I soak them overnight then cook in the pressure cooker. So easy.

                          3. re: Tea_annie

                            The more you make yourself rather than buying will reduce your weight - as you can control the high levels of fats, oils, and sugar always present in prepared foods.

                            1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                              Make your own...
                              Glad I live in New haven where most foods are readily available!

                              It is worth making tahini in bulk to reduce waste as the sticky paste is difficult to empty cleanly from your food processor. This is the proportion of oil to sesame seeds to use, increase the quantities to suit your needs

                              ¼ cup vegetable oil to 1 cup sesame seeds


                              Preheat your oven to 340°F (170° C).

                              * Spread your sesame seeds on a roasting tray, and toast in the oven for 15 minutes, stirring regularly to toast evenly. Do not allow to brown as this impairs the flavor.
                              * Remove the sesame seeds from the oven and allow to cool briefly.
                              * Put the toasted sesame seeds in your food processor, with metal blades fitted, and add half the oil.
                              * Process the mixture on a high setting for a minute, stopping to clean the sides of the food processor with a spatula from time to time.
                              * Add the rest of the oil, and continue to process the seeds to a paste, again cleaning the sides regularly and ensuring that the paste still covers the blades. Ensure that all the mix is blended to a paste. This can be a somewhat messy process but stick with it. The results will be worth it!
                              * When the mixture is evenly smooth, and further processing does not further refine the texture, transfer your tahini to a tight fitting glass jar using a flexible spatula, if you have one, to reduce waste.

                              Tahini may be kept in the refrigerator for many weeks in a well sealed jar.

                              Read more: http://middleeasterncuisine.suite101....

                        2. Recently, I used walnuts ground to a paste as a substitute and--although it may not have been authentic--it was the BEST hummus I'd ever made.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Beckyleach

                            oohhh...what a nice new way to get your Omega-3's too! Will have to try it...did you use your fp to make the walnut paste Becky?

                          2. i made hummus the other day, sans tahini (i have it, i just didn't use it).
                            i had a vinaigrette that i had made with olive oil, garlic, dijon and pear balsamic vinegar. on a whim, i poured some in, in place of olive oil and it was, hands down, not only the best hummus i had ever made, but the best i had ever tasted. i took some to my neighbor (and willing taste tester) and she agreed. :)
                            that being said, we love vinegar.

                            1. I like to add the spice Baharat.