Hulled or “natural” sesame seeds are what you see most often in stores. Here’s a photo of both hulled and unhulled sesame seeds. The hulled seeds are the lighter color on left. On the right, the unhulled seeds are much darker and still have their hull or outer shell intact.
In our experience, tahini made from unhulled sesame seeds tends to taste more bitter and does’t get quite a smooth as when it is made from hulled sesame seeds.
Ways to Use Tahini
Arguably the most well known way to use tahini is when making hummus.
As I mentioned earlier, we prefer to use natural, hulled sesame seeds.
Most often, we will lightly toast the seeds to bring out some of their natural nuttiness, but you can skip this step all together if you’d like.
If you plan to toast the seeds, we recommend doing so on the stovetop and not in the oven. Sesame seeds are tiny and so they burn very easily.
We throw them into a wide, dry saucepan over medium-low heat then stir constantly with a spoon until the seeds darken ever so slightly in color and become fragrant.
Once the sesame seeds have cooled, we throw them into the bowl of our food processor, shut the lid then process until a crumbly paste begins to form.
Next, to help the tahini come to an extra smooth paste, we add a few tablespoons of neutral-flavored oil — we go for grape seed oil, vegetable, oil, canola oil or a light olive oil. You could eliminate the oil if you would like, but the tahini won’t be as smooth or pourable.
To reach a similar consistency as store-bought, we’ve found 3 to 4 tablespoons of oil should do it.
After more processing, a few stops to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl and a little more processing after that, the tahini is done. Extra smooth and ready to use in whatever recipe you like. You can keep tahini covered in the refrigerator for a month, maybe a bit more.
You might find that after some time in the fridge it separates, like a natural peanut butter would. All you need to do to fix this is stir it well.
Making tahini at home is easy and much less expensive than buying from the store.
We recommend looking for sesame seeds in bulk bins or at International, Asian and Middle Eastern markets for the best deals.
While tahini can be made from unhulled, sprouted and hulled sesame seeds, we prefer to use hulled (or natural) sesame seeds for tahini. Tahini can be kept in the refrigerator for a month.
Yield: 1/2 cup of tahini
1 cup (5 ounces or 140 grams) sesame seeds, we prefer hulled
3 to 4 tablespoons neutral flavored oil such as grape seed, canola or a light olive oil
Pinch of salt, optional
Toast Sesame Seeds (optional): Add sesame seeds to a wide, dry saucepan over medium-low heat and toast, stirring constantly until the seeds become fragrant and very lightly colored (not brown), 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer toasted seeds to a baking sheet or large plate and cool completely. (Careful here, sesame seeds can burn quickly).
Make Tahini Paste: Add sesame seeds to the bowl of a food processor then process until a crumbly paste forms, about 1 minute. Add 3 tablespoons of the oil then process for 2 to 3 minutes more, stopping to scrape the bottom and sides of the food processor a couple times. Check the tahini's consistency. It should be smooth, not gritty and should be pourable. You may need to process for another minute or add the additional tablespoon of oil.
Taste the tahini for seasoning then add salt to taste. Process 5 to 10 seconds to mix it in.
How to Store Tahini: Store tahini covered in the refrigerator for one month. You may notice it separates over time, like a natural peanut butter would. If this happens, give the tahini a good stir
Can be frozen.
Found at: http://www.inspiredtaste.net/26901/easy-tahini-recipe/