An oily paste made from ground sesame seeds, used in hommus, moutabel and baba ghanoush.
Tahini, or sesame paste, is a paste of ground sesame seeds used in cooking. Middle Eastern tahini is made of hulled, lightly roasted seeds. East Asian sesame paste is made of unhulled seeds.
Sesame paste is an ingredient in some Chinese, Korean, and Japanese dishes; it is a key ingredient of the Szechuan dish Dan dan noodles. Because East Asian sesame paste is made from unhulled seeds, it is more bitter than tahini, and higher in some nutrients.
Tahini paste is used in a variety of dishes. Tahini-based sauces are common in Arab and Israeli restaurants as a side dish or as a garnish, usually including lemon juice, salt and garlic, and thinned with water. Tahini sauce is a popular condiment for meat and vegetables in Middle Eastern cuisine. It is also a main ingredient in soups. As a spread, tahini can replace peanut butter on bread, though the flavor and texture are quite different. It is an ingredient in Hummus.
In Turkey, tahini mixed with pekmez is common as a breakfast item, especially in the wintertime.
In Iraq and some gulf countries, tahini is mixed with date syrup (rub) to make a sweet dessert usually eaten with bread.
In Cyprus, tahini is mixed with a sort of pastry along with sugar making a sweet dessert or breakfast side dish.
Tahini is also the main ingredient in the Mediterranean type of halva.
Tahini is becoming more common in European cuisine and can be found as an ingredient in some pre-packaged sandwiches.