You say tahini, I say tahina - two minute tahina recipe

Tahini, tahina, panini, banina – let’s call the whole thing off.
NB – if you have arrived at this page after Googling “what’s the difference between tahini and tahina?” - let’s just say that tahini is the crushed sesame seed paste you buy in bottles down the healthfood shoppe (which tastes a little odd straight out of the bottle), and tahina is the end product, described below, a delicious, easy and quick to make, zingy lighter alternative to humous for everyday use.

NBNB – You might have to take that with a pinch of salt (hoho) – I’ve been told that there may actually be no difference between tahini and tahina, it’s just a difference of pronunciation depending on country/language. Sorry.

If there are any tahini/a experts reading this, please feel free to correct/hurl abuse at me.

Where to buy tahini in London? – All types of London health food shops are probably your best bet, I’m also told that it’s sold in bigger Sainsburys branches, not sure about t’other supermarkets though.

Incidentally, tahini can also be made into a (very sweet) dessert called halva.

Tahini/a Recipe

For today’s purposes, we’re going all savoury with the sesame, and the following, simple-as-chips recipe will give you a delicious dip, a healthy source of protein, and above all, a much easier and quicker to make alternative to its bulkier chickpea cousin!


Bottle of tahini
1 Lemon
(Optional extras: parsley, and soya sauce or umeboshi paste to taste)

1. Mix up the tahini within the bottle, so the oil and paste isn’t too separated.
2. Spoon out into a bowl as much tahini as you like (say 3 tablespoons for a dip for 2 people as a rough guide).
3. Add a little water, then mix together with the paste, and repeat until you have a good, humous-esque consistency.
4. Add a squeeze of lemon.

Simple as that. Add more tahini if you overdo it with the water (duh!)

Optional extras: Finely chopped parsley complements this dip really well. Also, I always prefer it with a drop of soya sauce, or (hey, let’s go crazy) some salty umeboshi paste (if you can find it!) – either of these really cut the slight bitterness factor down to size.