Tahini Dip is bursting with flavor and quick to whip up. Dip veggies, chips, and breads or drizzle over your favorite meat or falafel.
This dip really will knock your socks off with its smooth, nutty, tangy flavor. The zestiness it adds to everything it touches can only enhance your meal or snack.
And since it will keep for up to a week in the fridge, it’s easy to whip up a batch and enjoy it all week long.
Homemade Tahini dip will complement nearly any food that could use a little more flavor but goes especially well with Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and North African cuisine. Try it with Whole Wheat Pita Bread.
The main ingredient in this recipe is the tahini paste itself. A thick paste made from ground sesame seeds, tahini is used not only for its flavor but also to thicken sauces and dressings and can even be baked into desserts. Some say it is the Middle East’s answer to peanut butter.
Tahini Dip Ingredients
- Tahini paste - This is the staple ingredient in this dip. It is one of those distinctly regional flavors and has been around the Mediterranean, the Middle East, and North Africa for centuries. It is even mentioned in a 13th-century Arabic cookbook. In some areas of the world, tahini is present on every table and is used as a flavor enhancer much like salt and pepper are used here at home.
- Water - The amount you use in the recipe will depend on the viscosity you prefer. Add a little less for a thicker dip or a little more for a drizzle-worthy sauce.
- Fresh Lemon Juice - No bottled product can compare to the flavor intensity of a freshly squeezed lemon and that level of zestiness is just what this dip calls for.
- Garlic Cloves - I always prefer to work with fresh ingredients. Peel and finely dice the garlic.
- Tip: if you don’t prefer the garlic flavor or find it overpowering, try marinating the minced garlic in the lemon juice for about 10 minutes and then straining the garlic back out.
The acidity in the lemon juice will keep the garlic from becoming too strong and you’ll be left with a more subtly garlic-infused juice to use in your dip.
- Salt and Cumin - Nothing really needs to be said for these two champs of the seasoning ring. These staples enhance and draw all of the other flavors together.
Stir, stir, stir - When you first add the tahini to your liquids and seasonings, the paste will seize up. Don’t worry, it’s supposed to. Just keep whisking vigorously and enjoy watching the glorious transformation.
Viscosity - After all ingredients are thoroughly combined and smooth, you’ll have a dip resembling the consistency of honey. Now is the time to adjust the thickness of the dip according to your preference. For a thinner sauce, add additional water, one tablespoon at a time until the desired viscosity is achieved.
Flavors - This is where your palate comes in. For more overall flavor, add a touch more salt and to amp up the zest factor, stir in a little more lemon juice. Taste test along the way to get it just right.
Uses for Homemade Tahini Sauce
Because of its rich creamy zestiness, this recipe is one of the most versatile you’ll find. Use it in one of the following ways, or get creative.
- Serve as a dip for or drizzle over falafel
- Dip for fresh vegetables
- Drizzle over roasted vegetables
- Serve with pita bread
- Use as a dressing for Ptitim
- Drizzle over whole grains such as farro or Moroccan couscous
Buying, storing, and using tahini
Tahini is a thick paste made from ground sesame seeds so it has a high oil content. Below are some tips for buying, storing, and using your tahini paste.
- Tahini paste is known to separate, both before and after being stored. This is not a problem; simply recombine the oils by stirring well before each use.
- Tahini has a high oil content. As a result, it is best to store it in the refrigerator after opening.
- Tahini paste is available in raw and roasted varieties. While the raw variety is lighter in color, the roasted variety is a bit darker in color, and it has a richer flavor.
- Most grocery stores have their tahini paste available in the condiments aisle
- ⅔ cup tahini paste
- ½ cup water (See Note 1)
- 2 tbsp lemon juice fresh
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- ¼ tsp salt
- ⅛ tsp ground cumin
- Stir the tahini paste to thoroughly mix fat and solids if separated.
- In a small mixing bowl add the tahini, water, lemon juice, garlic and spices.
- Initially the tahini paste will seize, but continue to stir using a whisk until mixture becomes smooth. The sauce should have the consistency of honey, but I like it a liitle thinner and add a tablespoon more water at a time more to achieve this.
- Store in clean container for up to a week. Stir before using.
- Wonderful served as a dipping sauce with vegetables and breads, drizzled over falafel, spooned over roasted vegetables and meats.
- Sometimes depending on the consistency of the tahini more or less water is needed. Add more to get the desired consistency you prefer. Season with salt or more lemon if desired.
*The information shown below is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.