In Israel we call it Tehina.
This most delicious Middle Eastern dip or condiment is made from roasted toasted sesame seeds. It is of Arabic origin and is first mentioned in recipes as far back as the 13th century in an ancient Arabic cookbook. Like most of our traditional Middle Eastern recipes it was brought to Israel by Jewish immigrants from surrounding Arab countries. Tehina is one of my favorite dips and I literally eat it with everything..
My mother made the best tehina I have ever tasted. We like it made a
little thicker and pastier. It is often made in a more liquid form too. That is a personal preference.
Tehina is good served by itself with pita bread, as a dip, in hummus, babaganush and halva.I love it drizzled over my Israeli salad as a dressing too. Another way to eat it is drizzled over grilled meats. Nothing better!
If you have never made Tehina from scratch make sure you buy the raw tehina and not the ready made one.You can buy it in many stores nowadays but my favorite is from Whole Foods. It is their own brand which is called 365, and is imported from Israel.
The quantity varies depending on how much you want to make. Tehina is usually made a bit by looking and tasting. It also depends if you just want some as a dip or are planning on using it in your hummus as well. I usually make a fair amount since I use it in my hummus and babaganush but you can reduce the quantities of the ingredients. Talking of ingredients there are very few.
Here is all you need:
Half a jar of Tahini (the amount can be adjusted)
Freshly squeezed juice of one lemon. (This is one thing you need a fresh lemon for, bottled lemon juice will not taste the same)
1 teaspoon salt or a little more to taste
2 garlic cloves crushed, or according to taste
Chopped parsley for garnish (optional)
1-2 cups of cold water
My mother used a wooden spoon to make tehina and I did too for many years. I finally resorted to using my food processor and it cut the work in half.
Pour half the Tehina out of the jar into your food processor. There may be some oil on top that has settled, just add it all in. It will be thick with a beige like colour to start with. Add the lemon juice, salt, garlic and one cup of water. Pulse a few times and you will see the colour change to a creamy lighter tone.
Here is where you decide if you want the Tehina to be creamier or more liquid. Taste it and decide if it needs a little more salt first, we like ours a little salty. If the flavour is to your taste, add a little more water to make it creamier. If you prefer it even more liquid add more water. Continue pulsing between adding ingredients. Tehina is taylor made to your personal preference.
Add chopped parsley as garnish if desired and a little paprika.
This is so easy to make but takes a little practice getting it just right. I taste it a lot along the way.
Enjoy this wonderful Middle Eastern sauce that can be added to anything. And it’s vegan!