December 09, 2012

Roasted Sesame Tahini

Tahini is another word for sesame seed butter. Any nut or seed can be made into butter if you process it for 5 mins or so in a food processor, but for some reason tahini got its own special name!

Making your own tahini will save you tons of money, plus you can make it with soaked sesame seeds and roast it just the way you like it. I always keep a bag of soaked and roasted sesame seeds handy in case I want to make tahini or tahini sauce. Do this if you aren't planning to use the tahini right away, since whole seeds keep longer than ground ones!

Alternatively, you can dehydrate the sesame seeds rather than roasting them to make an enzyme-rich raw sesame tahini.

Roasted Sesame Tahini

  • Unhulled sesame seeds
  • Unrefined rock salt or sea salt, to taste (optional - I salt my tahini to save time because everything I use tahini in gets salt added to it anyways!)


  1. Soak sesame seeds for 8-10 hours in filtered water and rinse them very well.
  2. Preheat your oven to 310°F.
  3. Dump the sesame seeds onto 1 or 2 baking sheets. If the sesame seeds are pretty much in a single layer, you will not need to stir them; otherwise, you will need to stir them periodically while roasting since the ones on the outside will roast faster.
  4. Put the baking sheets in the oven and roast for 20 mins to 1½ hours, depending on how high the sesame seeds are piled up. Take them out and stir them every 20 mins or so if necessary. When the heavenly smell of roasted sesame seeds starts to fill your kitchen, start checking on them more often. Taste them each time until they are just perfect - they should be nice and browned.
  5. Remove baking sheets from the oven and allow the sesame seeds to cool until they can be easily handled. At this point, you can store them in jars, containers or plastic bags until you want to make them into tahini.
  6. Process the sesame seeds in a food processor until very smooth and creamy, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed.
  7. If you want to use salt, add it a bit at a time and process each time until it's as salty as you want it to be.
  8. Store tahini in a glass container in the fridge.

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