Kitchen DIY: Tahini

So, the other day I met someone who dropped a bombshell. “I never eat tahini,” she declaimed. “It’s a salmonella risk.”
I don’t normally go in for wacko food panic but she was someone who would know about such things. I thought of how I merrily slap tahini into hummus or sauces or help the Small Girl put it on toast and felt a bit faint. Then I came home and made my own. My kitchen is probably less sterile than any tahini processing factory, but it was fun all the same. And from a thrift point of view, doing it yourself is very cheap.

How To Make Tahini At Home Recipe/Image: Lucy Corry/The Kitchenmaid

DIY Tahini
This is a method I worked out after a bit of net surfing. It produces a darker, grainer paste than shop-bought, but I like its nutty flavour.

1 cup sesame seeds
4-5Tbsp olive oil

Toast the sesame seeds lightly in a dry pan – and I mean lightly. Don’t wander away or get distracted, give them your undivided attention for about three minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.
Tip the seeds into a food processor and whiz until they start to form a paste (a couple of minutes). Drizzle in the oil until the mixture slackens to the consistency you want. Scrape into a sterilised jar and store in the fridge.



  1. July 26, 2011 / 10:31 pm

    GAH this is perfect timing! I'm making some dips for a party this weekend that need tahini and I was thinking how ridiculous it was to pay $6 for a jar, when they were just smushed up sesame seeds. I can so do this! THANKS!!

  2. July 26, 2011 / 10:56 pm

    i don't really like tahini, i put it into my hummus but other than that it just sits in the fridge … maybe this one would change my mind on it …

  3. July 27, 2011 / 6:40 am

    Awesome 🙂 I love tahini on everything and have been eating it forever and not got sick?… anyways so cool that it got you onto making your own. I've done that on occasion when I've gone to make hummus and realised I've run out of tahini 😉

  4. July 27, 2011 / 7:14 am

    I always have a jar of tahini on hand but didn't know about the salmonella risk… I guess I can be (sometimes recklessly?) a little nonchalant about things like that. But very cool that you made your own, looks so simple – I'll have to give this a go!

  5. July 27, 2011 / 9:06 am

    I have some shopbought wholegrain tahini that looks exactly this colour. I love it in houmous.

  6. July 27, 2011 / 2:06 pm

    Weird, I've never heard of tahini being a salmonella risk! Your homemade tahini looks really tasty though, I bet it would make awesome hummous.

  7. July 27, 2011 / 6:21 pm

    I've never heard of tahini being a salmonella risk either … but then I've never really thought about it either. Scary when you do start to think about things like this though isn't it! Liking the idea of homemade tahini though ;0)

  8. July 27, 2011 / 9:19 pm

    I've never heard the food risk thing either! Although it has made me think about how long my current jar has been sitting in the fridge…hmm. This looks so much nicer than the shop bought stuff – beautiful earthy colour!

  9. July 28, 2011 / 10:10 am

    I love tahini – took me a while to get used to it but now I struggle to keep it out of anything. However, I'd never heard of the salmonella risk before! Yikes.

    I love how easy it is to make your own – imagine how little this would cost, especially if you got your sesame seeds at a bulk food shop…I've been toying with the idea of making my own cashew butter next time cashews are on special but this might jump to the top of the list.

  10. July 29, 2011 / 2:52 am

    I only just made my first batch of hummus this week and I was so proud and also wondered why it too me so long to make it myself when it's so easy. Now I'll have to try and make my own tahini now:) Thank you for the recipe.

  11. July 29, 2011 / 1:56 pm

    Love Tahini and yours sounds delicious, but why it is a salmonella risk?

  12. August 4, 2011 / 1:45 am

    oooh, I'm going to bookmark this for when my current jar is empty. I love me a DIY kitchen project.

    why is it a salmonella risk?? it's in the fridge.

  13. August 19, 2011 / 9:26 am

    Why is tahini a salmonella risk? It's so simple, just seeds and oil. I'm confused.

    The "sesame seed paste" I buy here in Hong Kong is the same colour as yours. Nice one!

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