Tahini is one of the most commonly used ingredient in Mediterranean cuisine. Tahini is nothing but sesame seed paste and it has wonderful health benefits and it really tastes good and I like it very much.
Though we use sesame seeds extensively in cooking in India, tahini is not very common but it is getting popular slowly now. Since it is an ingredient in the Mediterranean cuisine, it goes by the same name in all the Indian languages including Hindi.
Tahini Health Benefits:
Tahini is rich in fiber so it keeps us fuller for long periods of time. Tahini is a good source of protein and if you are allergic or don’t consume animal protein then tahini is a good plant based protein option as 100 grams of sesame seeds contains around 18 grams of protein.
Tahini is also rich in calcium (100 grams contain around 960 mg of calcium) so it is very good for women and especially women who are suffering from calcium deficiency. Another important health benefit of tahini is it is very rich in zinc which helps reduce inflammation, boosts immunity, reduces age related diseases and speeds up wound healing.
Tahini is also rich in iron, 100 grams of sesame seeds contains around 19 mg of iron. Generally many women are iron deficient and iron deficiency can lead to extreme fatigue, weakness, pale skin, inflammation, cold hands and feet, headache and shortness of breath.
It is also rich in magnesium which is very essential for many of the biochemical reactions in our body. Magnesium helps maintain normal nerve and muscle function, maintains a healthy immunity, keep the bones strong, is essential for protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, blood glucose regulation and blood pressure regulation.
It is also rich in other minerals and vitamins like phosphorus, potassium, selenium, manganese, copper, niacin, folate and vitamin A. Regularly consuming tahini is good for both our skin and hair as it contains many vitamins and minerals that are essential for glowing skin and hair including zinc, iron, calcium and protein.
What Is Tahini Made Of?
Authentic tahini is made only with white sesame seeds and little bit of salt. But most of the tahini we get in the markets have added oils in them so when you are buying tahini make sure that it is made only with sesame seeds.
Tahini has a nutty taste and some people like it and some don’t but once you start consuming it regularly you grow to like it very much. Tahini can also be made with black sesame seeds but making it with white sesame seeds will prevent the bitterness greatly.
Tahini made with 100 grams of sesame seeds contains around 580 calories, 18 grams of protein, 24 grams of carbohydrates, 5.5 grams of fiber, 960 mg of calcium, 19 mg of iron, 362 mg of magnesium, 659 mg of phosphorus, 582 mg of potassium, 7 mg of zinc, 4mg of copper, 2.5 mg of manganese, .2 mg of thiamin, 6.7 mg of niacin and .2mg of riboflavin.
Where Can We Find Tahini?
Tahini is not very commonly found in India especially not in small cities. In metropolitan cities certain departmental stores stock it. You can also order it easily online.
How To Make Tahini?
1. To make tahini, take quarter cup of sesame seeds in a pan and start dry roasting in low to medium flame.
2. After few minutes the colour will start changing. Make sure to stir often so the seeds roast evenly.
3. Once the seeds turn light golden colour switch off and let cool.
4. Now grind the seeds in a dry mixer along with little bit of salt. Grind in small bursts, it does take some time for the seeds to release the oil. Once the sesame oil is released, it is easier to grind to a smooth paste. Add little bit of salt while grinding. Once ground to a fine paste, store in the fridge. It will last well for months together.
- You can consume consuming tahini as it is, it is very delicious.
- You can use it as a spread for sandwiches.
- In middle eastern cuisine, tahini is mainly used for making hummus.
- Tahini can be used as a substitute for any nut butter. It is also added to sweet recipes too.
- Tahini is wonderful in salad dressings, at home I mix tahini with little bit of apple cider vinegar or lemon and honey as a sweet and sour dressing for salads.
- You can also add little bit of lemon juice and olive oil along with red pepper flakes to make lemon tahini dressing.
- Tahini can also be used in skin care recipes, I use tahini in homemade body scrub recipes.
Tahini Side Effects:
If you are allergic to sesame seeds don’t consume tahini. It is also quite high in calories, tahini made with 100 grams of sesame seeds contains almost 585 calories so have it in moderation.