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Tehina--Other uses besides making Hummus?

Just wondering if there are any interesting dishes or sauces to make this tehina. Thank you.

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  1. I use it in Go ma-ae dressing and Asian salad dressings like ginger sesame dressing etc. You can use a little in anything you might normally use sesame oil to fortify the sesame flavor.

    1. Not a dish, exactly, but Tahina cookies, rolled in sesame seeds, baked.

      Very delicate (and addictive.)

      1 Reply
      1. The most basic tahini sauce is tahini, lemon, and water. Great served over stuff. I also had a thicker version of that recently with grilled shishito peppers and sesame seeds on top - it was delicious (and unexpected).

        5 Replies
        1. re: will47

          " Great served over stuff".

          Couldn't have said it better.
          Tahini sauce is an amazingly versatile (and easy to make) sauce.
          Pretty much anything that can fit in a folded piece of pita or Greek bread will benefit.

          Even the inferior (IMO) non-roasted tahini makes a good sauce.

          1. re: DiveFan

            It's the new mayo on all the food trucks in Boston. Great on any sandwich and no refrigeration issues. They may doctor it up but I can't tell.

          2. re: will47

            I'll add a pinch of cumin and some salt to mine, sometimes parsley as well, but otherwise this is probably the most versatile sauce out there. Great on vegetables, salad, roasted fish or even just bread. It's also the basis for lots of dips made with ingredients other than chickpeas (i.e. roasted eggplants, beets, squash, etc.) or a main ingredient in dressing and salads (think devilled eggs).

            Although others have pointed out that it might not be wholly traditional, I think tahini blends well enough to make sauces for Chinese dishes like bang bang chicken or dan dan noodles. I've also been planning on making a tahini swirl ice cream when it's a little hotter.

            1. re: will47

              tahini, lemon, tamari, and water as needed. I'll never forget the first time I tasted this, Chapel Hill NC, 1983.

              1. re: Betty

                That sounds good enough to taste right now.

            2. as will47 said, it makes a great sauce for drizzling, dipping or coating fish, chicken or roasted vegetables. try adding different seasonings or spices that complement whatever you're making. really tasty options include chopped capers, toasted cumin, smoked paprika, minced fresh parsley...some Lebanese versions include pine nuts or walnuts.

              i also second the suggestion for tahini/sesame cookies. makes great muffins too.

              use it in a dressing for fattoush or a falafel salad.

              blend it into a carrot-based dip with Moroccan spices.

              make Melissa Clark's Carrot & Tahini soup: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/07/din...

              sesame noodles.

              instead of peanut butter, spread tahini on bread/toast and drizzle with a bit of maple syrup or honey.

              and don't forget about baba ghannouj!

              8 Replies
              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                Just keep in mind that if you're trying to make Chinese style sesame noodles, it's worth seeking out Chinese sesame paste, which is different from either roasted or raw tahini. IMHO, tahini is too sour, and doesn't have the right taste or texture.

                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                  I'd appreciate a little more description of the flavor differences.
                  I've not found Middle Eastern style tahini paste to be sour, just nutty and oily in a good way.

                  1. re: DiveFan

                    Sorry, I meant "too sour" (and wrong taste / texture) for Chinese sesame noodles, not in general.

                    1. re: DiveFan

                      The Chinese Sesame paste is roasted quite a bit darker and has a deeper more nutty flavor.
                      I too have never found Middle Eastern Tahini to be sour, bitter yes' but not sour.

                      1. re: chefj

                        Are you using tahina from the Middle East? The two that are readily available to me are Al Wadi (Lebanon) and Al Arz (Nazareth, Israeli). Al Arz is sublime; you can eat it right out of the jar. Roland rebrands it and sells it under their name (same jar, different label); they also sell an organic version which I haven't tried. Al Wadi is more robust and yes, a bit bitter, but it holds up very well in hummus b'tahina (it doesn't hold a candle to Al Arz but it's better than many other brands available here, including the Israeli brands found in Kosher groceries). Truly mass-produced brands like Joyva are, I think, swill. Search out quality product if you want the best end result.

                        Chinese sesame paste is a whole different animal. :)

                        1. re: MacGuffin

                          The question was what is the flavor difference between Chinese and Middle Eastern sesame paste.

                          1. re: chefj

                            Yes, but you answered the question. I was commenting on your response.

                    2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                      and you turned me on to it on roasted cauliflower, ghg.

                    3. I use it to make baba ghanoush, which is delicious. Roasted eggplant, garlic, lemon juice, tahini, olive oil. Basically like hummus but with roasted eggplant instead of chickpeas.

                        1. A less traditional (and distinctly non-gourmet) use, but I put it in vegan mac and cheese sometimes.

                          For example, this version calls for some http://veganyumyum.com/2007/10/mac-an...

                          See also this other thread, if you didn't notice it in the related threads bit on the sidebar:

                          1. Mix with lime juice, soy sauce and a splash of wAter. Good on salad or steamed broccoli.

                            1. Well of course it's a classic topping to felafel, make with tahini, lemon and water.

                              1. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/832531

                                This was a good discussion concerning the same question. As I posted, using it in place of peanut butter for traditional peanut butter squares is a fun change (almost halvah like).

                                10 Replies
                                1. re: chinaplate

                                  Aldea, in NYC, does/did a roasted cod with a tahini sauce, flecked with black truffle & [hen-of-the-woods?] mushrooms. A preparation/pairing that I didn't necessarily expect, especially in a "Portuguese leaning" restaurant, but lovely nonetheless. Their "tahini sauce" was (obviously?) more than just tahini-from-a-tin, much more akin to homemade, prepared versions I've tasted in Lebanese restaurants, FWIW.

                                  1. re: BrettLove

                                    Tahini sauce is one of the easiest (not to mention fastest) things in the world to make--I can't imagine that any restaurant worth its salt would use something pre-prepared. I don't eat fish but the tahini dressing proper with truffle and mushrooms sounds wonderful.

                                    1. re: BrettLove

                                      Tahini sauce, aka taratour, is little more than tahini from the tin, thinned with water and lemon juice and seasoned to taste. The space and time required for a restaurant to grind its own tahini would be unprofitable.

                                      1. re: JungMann

                                        Not GRIND (no mention of that in my post, BrettLove and I both specified "sauce"). Just add water, lemon, and seasonings to tahina--THAT'S fast and easy. Obviously, superb tahina requires much more effort than dumping sesame seeds into a Vitamix and flipping the switch.

                                        1. re: MacGuffin

                                          I think we're saying the same thing, but the wording is confusing. That's why I prefer to call the sauce 'taratour," whereas ground sesame is just tahini. I was chiming in to add, though, that restaurants are not likely to be serving "homemade" or housemade tahini. Tahini-based sauces, yes, but not tahini itself. And if you buy a quality tahini, you can easily make sauces of Aldea-level quality at home.

                                          1. re: JungMann

                                            I know where you're coming from but I think pretty much anyone reading this now is going to realize that we're discussing sauce rather than paste.

                                            BTW, having grown up in Detroit, been married into an Israeli family, and friend to many non-Jewish Middle Easterners and Turks, I have yet to hear anyone make mention of "taratour"; "tahini" is always used and it's understood by context whether or not it refers to sauce. It's possible I just don't know the right people, though. :)

                                            1. re: MacGuffin

                                              I grew up with Lebanese and Palestinians, but my father speaks Gulf Arabic, so my limited Arabic is probably all over the place. Taratour is the Lebanese name I encountered for tahini sauce, but you're right, if I'm with Egyptians, it's just called tahina and understood in context. No one really wants straight up tahini on their grilled fish.

                                              1. re: JungMann

                                                I'll tell ya...I like Al Arz/Roland so much that you literally CAN eat it "straight up" but of course, it's much better as the base ingredient of taratoor (I took several years of Arabic--I'm schoolable!). I much prefer tahini made by Arabs than by Israeli Jews (I say this because the Arabs who make Al Arz are from Nazareth and probably Christian and Israeli citizens). The ne plus ultra is supposed to be Karawan/Yonah from Palestine--last I heard, Holyland Market on St. Marks Place was having a hard time importing it (some sort of labeling BS): http://www.haaretz.com/weekend/magazi... . I should call them and see if they've resolve their problem but in the meantime, Al Arz is VERY good stuff.

                                              2. re: MacGuffin

                                                Thank you, MacGuffin!
                                                And "homemade" isn't necessarily the same as "entirely from scratch", IMHO, especially when it comes to foodstuffs frequently made with a "pre-prepared" ingredient. My friend makes "homemade" tortillas, although he doesn't grind the corn in his own mill...

                                                1. re: BrettLove

                                                  Please don't get me started on the KoMo mill I want and don't actually need... :O

                                    2. Mollie Katzen has an apple tahini sauce in one of her cookbooks.

                                      And Eden foods has an orange/miso/tahini dressing recipe

                                      1. I love mixing canned sardines with tahini and spread it over flat bread, not necessarily pita. Then top it up with olives, green peppers etc. Makes a light lunch or nice starter cut into wedges.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: raisa

                                          Sardines? Check.

                                          Tahini? Check.

                                          Olives? Check.

                                          Flatbread recipe I've been wanting to try, plus ingredients? Check.

                                          Lunch for tomorrow is settled. Thanks for this idea!

                                        2. Saveur had a recipe for an Armenian Tahini Bread in its February 2007 issue. Haven't made it yet, but I want to!

                                          1. Al Arz tahina now seems to be available on Amazon. (I also learned that Roland is no longer rebranded Al Arz)

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: davidg1

                                              Interesting about Roland. I've not tried AA's organic and am now able to buy Karawan/Yonah in the East Village. Regardless, AA is one of the best and if it can be had for a good price on Amazon, so much the better. I'd really like to see them get the exposure and appreciation they deserve.

                                            2. I whisk it really well into my ice cream base to make a sesame ice cream!