Is tahini required for hummus?
A Recipe for Hummus Without Tahini. Traditional hummus recipes are made with tahini which is a sesame seed paste. Fortunately, it's totally possible to make hummus without the tahini. Hummus is a dip/spread that is made from chickpeas and, in fact, hummus is the Arabic word for chickpea.
To make matters more confusing, tahina can also be spelled tehineh or tehina, and its main ingredient is tahini. All you have to keep in mind is that tahini is just the pureed raw sesame seeds, while tahina is the prepared sauce.
- Sesame seeds are simply pureed into a paste or butter, much like almond butter or peanut butter. The first time I tasted tahini I thought it was truly awful stuff. Unlike nut butters, it is not inherently sweet. In fact, it has quite a bitter taste, comparatively.
- When people in the US hear tahini, they think hummus, falafel, shawarma and a sauce with some lemon and garlic. In Israel and the Middle East it's called tehina, not tahini, and tehina is used in many, many different ways. Tehina is made from 100% sesame and is just as (if not more) diverse!
- It's made from tahini, a dense paste made from crushed sesame seeds. Tahini sauce is a mixture of tahini paste, lemon juice, garlic, and water. This traditional sauce is served in Israel and in Arab countries throughout the Middle East.
Updated: 2nd October 2019