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How to: Tahini 101 - Israel Export Market

The Guide: What is Tahini? And what to do with it?

In this article, I will teach you all you need to know about sesame based product "tahini", and how to produce the best creamy version you ever tasted.

I will reveal all the tricks and hints, the divine secrets that are the well-kept techniques of the middle eastern most exquisite restaurants. But don't get stressed, you want to know the truth? The best tahine é  I've ever tasted were homemade tahini, so don't run away too fast.

At first, grab a glass of Turkish coffee with a date or two (i prefer it with cardamom), and I think it's a great time to begin.

How it all Began

Not a long time ago, I was walking in the streets of Paris with my close friend. As we were laughing and enjoying ourselves, a woman approached and asked "excusez-moi, monsieur? êtes-vous d'Israël?" (are you from Israel?).

I was embarrassed; perhaps we were chatting too loud? Yes, I responded."Savez-vous où trouver le tahini?" (Where I can find tahini?) At that instant, I was in total shock.

However, still, somehow I could understand it, Israeli tahini is one of the best products out there. Even though that winter night in "Avenue De Montaigne" was one of the weirdest moment of my life. (later on, I found out she wanted to make halva, but that's for another story).

To the point - if you always had a hard time finding tahini, I believe its not the obstacle anymore, particularly now that you have us. What's exciting and the most essential matter to understand is the character, and experience as of what to do with it.

The Tahini Way

Tahini or Tahina is precisely the same thing. Tahina root word in Hebrew means - "To grind", or "Grinding" (in Arabic: طَحِينَة or طَحِينِيَّة). Which refers to the act of producing raw tahina. While the source of the word is from a foreign language, you can spell it in different ways.

Common additional spelling possibilities are Tahine, tehineh or tehina, but either way, the main ingredient remains "Raw Tahini".

As we just figured out, Tahini Cream, Paste or - "Tahini" is a mixture made from raw tahini, which blended with water, tons of lemon juice herbs and spices. The seasoning (but the garlic) we keep to add in the end. You can throw them right into the sauce to perfect your paste, as for ideas - we will provide you with a selection of recipes just for that. (We encourage attempting them all)

What is Raw Tahini?

Raw Tahini is a brown puree made by hulled or unhulled sesame seeds. One of the most crucial aspects for a quality Raw tahini is it should be made from 100% ground sesame seeds.

Throughout the world, you can typically find tahini sauce in groceries stores or supermarkets, sold as a ready mixture sauce or as a deficient quality raw (if to find at all). The quality of the Raw Tahini determined by the percentage of sesame, the excess salts and chemicals which meant to compensate for low-quality sesame taste. 

In Israel, a national committee of experts has established in the Israeli Standard Institute which issued the No. 624 Standard for the Producing of Quality Raw Tahini. Overall, the Israeli's prefer to buy tahini in its natural form then store-bought, and it just tastes better - fresher, more natural, without added chemicals.

One of the best features of raw tahini, you can customize it to suit your necessities. It could be eaten as a seasoning for your BBQ, a salad dressing, or even as "haute cuisine" - on asparagus or broccoli, served with roasted almonds and some coarse salt & pepper.

Let me tell you, Raw Tahini is one of the healthiest fats you can add to your diet, on the same top-shelf level as Avocado, Nut Butter, Peanut Butter, and Olive Oil.

Raw tahini is rich in minerals and vitamins that are essential for health and also reduce the chance of heart disease. The tahini is low in carbohydrates and rich in protein, calcium (the amount of calcium in sesame is 3 times greater than in milk), zinc, antioxidants, unsaturated fatty acids, magnesium, iron, B vitamins and more. Except that, it will make your tastebuds scream "joy".

The Basics

I see a lot of recipes with a perfected ingredients lists, measured to the point as the amount of water or lemon you should squeeze into the mix. However, if we're going the make it about trust here, that's not going to go in that way between you and me.

Homemade Tahini Sauce doesn't have a winning recipe. The real secret is the game between the lemon and the water. The brave add garlic, and the greens add chopped parsley (now its called "green tahini").

Restaurants sometimes add a teaspoon of a green spicy pepper on-top (also called "zhug"), or even an out-of-the-box version of an eggplant tehina that we will expose in a few.

When I'm done with you, tahini is going to be your second nature! (and you don't even need a food processor) Think you're ready? Let's start!

7 Roads To Tahini

The Classic Tahini

Pour into a bowl a small cup of raw tahini, squeeze in the juice of three whole lemons and start to stir it with a fork.

One of the secrets we are going to reveal is called the "The Ice Cube Whipping Method". In this method, we use three cubes of ice while whipping, and begin to pour in water in small amounts, but don't exaggerate, half glass of ice water for a start is just fine. Yes the colder, the better, tahini loves it.

Hold on; you're sure going to be experiencing a moment of a fat breakdown, so don't panic. The fat imbalance between the tahini to the cold water creates a weird effect that looks like a failure. Still, continue to stir constantly, you will suddenly witness how its forms into a fantastic creamy paste.

You might think I forgot to tell you the amount of water you should add in total, so no, I haven't, this is your choice. I would recommend to experience and to create the texture that you desire, firm or liquidy, but the creamy point lifts it, find it!

Notice: The final touch is definitely going to be - salt. Taste it in every step of the way, you don't want it too salty or with lack of lemon at the final stage.

If you found out, you're missing some lemon juice, and you've already reached the texture you desired, any extra lemon juice you add will turn it to liquid. However, hey - the refrigerator tends to slightly firm it. If there is a feeling you lost the desired texture point, you could always add some more of that molten gold raw tahini.

The Garlic Bonanza Tahini

Just as you began to perform the show of the classic recipe above, and after you added the first serving of the raw tahini, it's now the time for the crushed garlic (about four pieces). Keep stirring it along the way to dissolve the bits as much as you can — all the rest just like the classic, Bon Appétit.

Green Tahini

One of the best salads you can eat with a slice of bread - fresh and sour, just opens the flavours up. Test it as an upgrade to the classic tahini with a respected amount of Chopped Parsley, giving it a good stir and a little rest, and you can devour. I would recommend for the Green Tahini making it more liquid than creamy. It just feels right.

Yogurt Tahini

Yum Yum Yum. One of my Favorites! Our Recommendation at that point as you're already a pro is to use about two cups of 4% high-quality yogurt.

As for the next step, just pour the raw tahini in, mix it until a uniform cream is obtained. Finish it with the grand finale - add lemon by the taste, salt, and black pepper here is a must!

The Purple Eggplant Tahina

I'm not sure you're ready for this, are you? Wash a healthy and beautiful Eggplant and dry. Leave it on the grill and let it cook and burn from the outside. When the eggplant is ready, soft and well done- remove it from the grill and leave it to chill. 

What we look for I that point is not the interior. However, the exterior - the burned black shell, when it turned into a powder and added to your tahini, provides a fantastic eggplant aroma to your classic tahini recipe.

Beets Colorful Tahini

Just after you eventually polished your Garlic Tahina Recipe techniques, its time for a Lift. Simmer A small size beet until softened (test with a fork). When ready, remove it, and put it aside to cool.

The next step is to Remove the beet skin and set it into a Blender. Gradually, add the beet paste into the tahini sauce until the desired texture, colour, and flavour achieved.

Honey Tahini

While raw tahini is one of the main ingredients in your house, you have no other option but to experience with it, and the results are - Amazing. The most important part is not to add too much, a little sweetness to the tahine paste is enough, and more recommended to the yogurt one.

The recipes above are not written at that order for no reason. We would recommend trying them one by one and completing the middle eastern tahini journey step by step. Maybe it could move you to invent something new. And Hey - you might be experienced enough to proceed to halva.

Until next time - Au revoir!


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