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Friday, April 16, 2010

The Frugal Pantry: Tahini

We've been in the mood for hummus lately, to the point where we had to crack a new jar of tahini. This reminded us of how much we love this ingredient, which is not only indispensable to Middle Eastern dishes like hummus and baba ghanouj but an excellent addition to salad dressing.

Made of ground sesame seeds, tahini is similar in texture to peanut butter, but it adds a unique smoky flavor to whatever you're preparing. A 16-ounce container usually costs between $6 and $8, and will last a long time; typically, you use just a few tablespoons for whatever recipe you're making.

Most supermarkets carry tahini, but finding it can be a challenge. Sometimes it's by the peanut butter, sometimes it's with the oils, sometimes it's in the catch-all "International" section. If you can't find it, ask—it's worth the effort.


  1. I buy my tahini from a local ethnic grocery store here in Boston; it is much cheaper for me that way. And now I use it for everything! I use mixed with lemon juice and garlic almost everything!

  2. The ethnic market is a good suggestion. We've noticed that the prices are lower there.

    It's also true that lemon juice, garlic and tahini is one of the best flavor combinations in the world!

  3. You can substitute sesame oil for tahini in hummus. Much cheaper!


  4. which ethnic grocery store?

  5. Middle Eastern stores are good for tahini, but you can generally find it i the supermarket. Check around the peanut butter or in the "ethnic" aisle.. let us know how you fare!

  6. PS: Sorry for the long delay in posting an answer -- hope you haven't given up on us!