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Video:Learn Five Ways to Use Tahini

with Omar Saad

Learn five ways to use tahini, from dips to sauces to the foundation of entire dishes. Here are five ways to use tahini.See Transcript

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Transcript:Learn Five Ways to Use Tahini

Hi, I'm Omar Saad for About.com and today we're going to look at how you can use tahini in many different ways, be it in the cooking of a dish or in the making of a sauce or dip, to add some great flavor to the foods you eat.

Tahini is a staple in middle eastern cooking. It's a paste made from sesame seeds that is exceptionally versatile in the kitchen. Let's take a look at some different ways it can be used in preparing a meal.

Use Tahini in Hummus

One of the foods most commonly associated with tahini is hummus. Garbanzo beans are the foundation of hummus but tahini plays an integral role; it's really what binds together the other ingredients, in terms of flavor and texture. Once you've got your beans, lemon juice, minced garlic and other ingredients in the food processor, you'll add your tahini - about 2 to 3 tbsp. of tahini per half pound of beans. The tahini will firm it up, giving hummus its traditional texture, along with giving it a creamy taste.

Use Tahini in Baba Ganoush

Much like hummus, baba ganoush is another dish that utilizes tahini as its secret ingredient. Once you've got the roasted and peeled eggplant in the food processor, along with the other ingredients, add the tahini. You'll end up using around two tablespoons per eggplant. As in hummus, the tahini will bind together the other ingredients and give the dish a creamier taste.

Use Tahini to Make Tarator

If you like bold sauces, tarator is a tangy, tahini-based dressing used on many dishes such as falafel, among others. To make tarator, add the juice of 2 lemons to 4 tbsp. of tahini. Follow that up with two cloves of crushed garlic, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper. If you like a creamier sauce, add a tbsp. or 2 of yogurt. Then drizzle over falafel or your favorite meat.

Use Tahini in Tagen

Another great dish that owes everything to the flavor of tahini is called tagen. Tagen is a dish consisting of grilled or baked white fish, smothered in a creamy tahini sauce. To make tagen, you’ll need to add 1/2 cup of tahini to 1/2 cup of chicken broth. Add this mixture to a hot pan with sautéed, diced onions and continue stirring until the sauce begins to boil. Add the sauce to a grilled fillet of white fish and enjoy tagen, the Middle Eastern version of comfort food.

Use Tahini as a Dairy Substitute for Dips

Finally, you can use tahini as a great substitute for dairy-based dips. To make a great tahini dip, add the juice of 1 lemon, a pinch of ground cumin, 1 clove of crushed garlic, 1 to 2 tbsp. of chopped parsley, and salt to taste, to a half cup of tahini. Now enjoy with your favorite chips or veggies.

Next time you're feeling creative, give one of these recipes a shot or experiment with tahini on your own; you might discover that it adds a great quality to an otherwise average dish.

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