Tahina is one of my go-to Middle Eastern condiments. Popular in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean counties, tahina is used as a spread or a dip in pita, felafel, shwarmah, salads, cut-up vegetables, and sometimes pizza. It can also be used as a salad dressing as well which I sometimes do. Tahina is generally never eaten alone primarily due to its flavorless and bitter aftertaste. Tahina desperately requires seasoning such as lemon juice, parsley, parsley, a bit of salt and pepper blended in with tahini paste. You can find tahini paste in the Middle Eastern section at local supermarket or at a health food store. I bought the Ethiopian tahini paste which tends to be on the saltier side. Therefore, I didn’t feel it was necessary to add more salt. I would have much preferred the organic brand. Like most condiments, tahini paste is very easy to make. It does not require prior use of the stove or oven. All you need is a good food processor to do all the hard work for you. This recipe is inspired by a friend who would serve this dip every dinner weekend. She adds dill in addition to the rest of the ingredients. The dill and parsley adds a brilliant green hue as well as a fresh herb flavor. I contemplated about adding basil as well. I decided no to at the end but will leave the idea open for next time. Feel free to create your own version using any herbs and spices that suit your fancy. The beauty about this vegan and gluten-free dip is that you can take something boring and insipid and transform it into something exciting, vibrant, with a strong impact of flavor. Tahina allows that flexibility. And did I mention that its very addictive? Its a cryin’ shame that a certain family member doesn’t share that sediment with me. It must stem from his PTSD from eating Halva (a popular Israeli dessert made from tahini paste, sugar, and sometimes cocoa powder). Now if only I had pita chips at my disposal…….
For this recipe, you will need:
- 2/3 cups of tahini paste
- 1/3 cup of water
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1/4 cup of lemon juice
- 1 cup of lightly packed fresh dill
- 3/4 cup of flat parsley leaves, stems removed
- Salt and pepper for taste
Throw all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. Add a bit more water if the tahini is too thick. If not using immediately, transfer to a plastic covered container and refrigerate for at least an hour. Serve chilled or at room temperature. Store in the fridge for 3-5 days.
Yields about 2 cups