How to make tahini

Make your own sesame seed paste

Keywords; how to make tahini.

So, what is it? If you're anything like me, five years ago you'd never heard of it, and now want it daily in your diet.

Rather like peanut butter, it's a paste made from sesame seeds. They are traditionally lightly roasted and then crushed, making a super smooth tahini paste.

You can very simply make your own tahini at home, with a little improvisation. Since you almost certainly won't have a sesame seed grinder, a hand held blender does the job very well.

Why grind or blend your sesame seeds? Because, unless you practise fletcherising, chewing every mouthful 32 times, they will pass right through your alimentary canal undigested. So the shell must be cracked to get at the important fatty acids and protein in the seeds. 

It's best to cheat. Since virtually all recipes that use tahini also use olive oil, I add olive oil to the sesame seeds before blending. True, it's not real tahini, but both nutritionally, and taste wise you won't be able to tell the difference. Otherwise you have to buy solvent extracted sesame oil; not good.

Recipe for tahini

  1. 1 cup sesame seeds
  2. 1/2 cup olive oil

How to make tahini 

When I left the Netherlands for my native South Africa, one thing I dreaded. Would I be able to get tahini, or tahin as the Turks in Rotterdam call it.

Seven years ago I had never heard of tahini. By the time we left Holland tahini paste had become a staple in our diet. Helen and I simply could not imagine going without tahini. Well, in one respect I could relax. A Greek shop sold tahini, but at a price!

So my son and I put our heads together: couldn't we make tahini? At home? Well, yes, we could. For three minutes' work, we made up a recipe for tahini, costing one tenth of the price of the Greek shop tahini.

There are two kinds of tahini: raw and roasted sesame seeds. I recommend you try both ways. They are both delic and VERY healthy; in short, make your own tahini.

Homemade tahini

Raw Tahini

This is the easier way to make your own tahini. Simply take about a cup of raw sesame seeds, add about half a cup of olive oil and blend. What could be easier? Two minutes.

Since your blender and mixing bowl are already sticky, go right ahead and make our authentic hummus recipeit takes only a further four minutes, I'm not kidding, to make your own authentic hummus recipe right in your own kitchen.

Update: I now have a dedicated coffee grinder (cheap from Amazon) for sesame and flax seeds. It makes the paste even smoother and nicer.

Scrape the raw tahini paste into a bottle and refrigerate. Otherwise it will oxidise (spoil) quite quickly. The very important essential fatty acids, and especially the amino acid methionine which tahini is rich in, are prone to going off (rancid) unless chilled.

Roasted Sesame Seed Tahini

If the bottle isn't full, cover your tahini with a little olive oil to seal out any oxygen.

So, wasn't that simple? How to make tahini is kid's play. The only difficulty you might have is finding bulk sesame seeds. Keep them in the freezer by the way. 

Traditionally in the Mediterranean countries, tahini is made from lightly roasted sesame seeds. Personally, I'm still trying to make up my mind if it's better, but simply because they've been making it that way for centuries, it probably is.

First take your sesame seeds and spread them in a roasting pan; perhaps half an inch deep.

Place the roasting pan under a hot grill, stirring and shaking regularly; they burn very easily.

Sesame seeds are particularly rich in two amino acids that are absent in most legumes; methionine and tryptophan are vital for good health. So there are many Mediterranean recipes that blend tahini and chickpeas, for example.

Stir, shake... oops, a few burnt patches...

Perfect! Lightly roasted, a perfect light brown tinge... don't burn them.

Update: This is where you would now put the toasted sesame seeds into your coffee grinder.

Now add your olive oil, not too much because the seeds are very oily... and blend.

Sesame seed paste

And here your final product, a rich and creamy smooth sesame seed paste, delicious on bread, with a salad, in hummus and baba ghanoush... and a host of other delicacies.

Rich in the essential very healthy essential mono-unsaturated fatty acids without which your nerves can't conduct normally, high in essential amino acids, rich in iron and calcium, high in phytosterols, those substances that prevent cancer... and cheap! Pure nutrient food, zero cholesterol, what more do you want!???


Use your tahini now to make your own AUTHENTIC HUMMUS RECIPE and perhaps this delic eggplant BABA GHANOUSH ... You can make these side dishes in under ten minutes. Dinkum. Have your guests guessing... once I've made the blender sticky, now that I know how to make tahini, I find I might as well go on, and make another of these sesame tahini dishes. What is in tahini...?

My lunch today, and two slices of whole wheat bread. Now you know why my cholesterol is "dangerously low"! And why I could enjoy a thick slab of butter on that bread with not the slightest guilt feelings.

Aside: Some folk are concerned that tahini and hummus and avocado and the like are all very fattening. Not too worry. Research shows that those eating a diet like this, rich in fibre actually lose weight. The problem with weight gain is usually too much starch, not too much of the healthy oils in these foods. 

Baba Ghanoush

Remember, every nerve is coated with fat. Without its myelin sheath researchers in the Netherlands and Japan are finding folk are more prone to the nasty neurological diseases.

Because of its cholesterol lowering properties and delicious flavour, I use eggplant in as many different dishes as possible. Recipes with tahini abound, but baba ghanoush is certainly one of my favourites.

Right, now you too know how to make tahini, all you need is sesame seeds and olive oil and fifteen minutes; go for it.

Try to avoid the health food stores when buying sesame seeds. They break them down into small packets at double the price. I purchase a kilogram at a time; two pounds. Look perhaps for a Chinese, or Lebanese, Greek or Turkish shop. 


It was not written in the immutable Laws of the Medes and Persians that hummus may be made only with Sesame seeds.

I'm always looking for simple ways to eat more healthily rather than being true to tradition. It's now widely accepted and scientifically proved that we ingest far too little omega-3 fatty acids. The are two abundant sources: fish oil and flax seed. Here's my Flax-sesame-tahini recipe. Very simple. It's perfect for making an enriched hummus.

Purchase the following:

  1. Olive oil
  2. Sesame seeds
  3. Flax seeds.

Spoon out any amount into your blender bowl. Don't be stingy with the olive oil. Simply blend. What could be simpler?

Here is our seseame and flax tahini, just ready to go into chickpeas to make delicious hummus. Honest injun! Flax seeds are tougher than sesame seeds. I need a better grinder to turn the seeds into a paste. Something for the future, perhaps a coffee grinder.

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1. Mr S is a 76 year old man with neck pain of some 9 months duration. Luckily, most of the discomfort is upper cervical which is only rarely arthritic; his lower cervical spine is a degenerative mess that I've left alone. After seven treatments his pain and stiffness is 50 percent better, and he's happy in the circumstances. He can sleep through the night now and that makes a huge difference.

2. Mr P is 32 year old man with very severe lower back pain radiating to the big toe which is 30 percent numb. He had an episode three weeks ago, took anti inflammatories and was soon better as is typical of the medial disc herniation. But before it healed, after a trivia it came roaring back, much worse. The characteristic crossed sign was evident; sitting in a chair, straightening the right leg provoked severe left back pain and tingling in the leg. He's doing well.

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6. I too have had serious lower back issues, luckily fixed by my own chiropractor; so I too have to do my exercises, take care when lifting supers full of honey, gardening and using the chainsaw. Regaining the function of your lower back is just as important as the pain.

7. My own granddaughter, only 7 is hypermobile giving her hip, knee and ankle issues. Xrays show a mildly dysplastic hip. Years ago we would have called it growing pains. She too regularly needs chiropractic care and luckily responds well. Hypermobility is more difficult that too stiff in my opinion. Chiropractic is for kids too.

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11. Mrs C has been having severe headaches, and taking a lot of analgesics. It's a non complicated upper cervical facet syndrome, and she's doing well.

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