HOW TO COOK TAHINI? TIPS AND TRICKS !

THE TAHINI
The Tahin is a curious food that many people are interested in, and that’s why Al Seedawi offers a little guide and some tips on using tahin.

To begin, what can we do with it?
Well, lots of things!

It can be used as a sauce as well as in salads or as a pizza or quiche base. As far as sauces are concerned, tahini can either be used naturally in small doses (for example on a sandwich), or it can be added to the preparation of another sauce to add flavor. It is often used in cooking to replace cream.

Obviously, we can not forget the greatest classic: hummus. It is indeed often to prepare the latter that we use tahini: a quick and easy recipe, and yet many people ignore it and continue to buy it packaged.

But concretely, what is tahini?
It is also called white sesame puree (you’ll understand, tahini is therefore based on white sesame). But there are two types: the complete tahini and the white tahini. The difference ? As its name suggests, the complete tahini is made with full sesame seeds, richer in fiber thanks to its small outer membrane, which is removed to obtain white sesame.

For its high content of unsaturated fatty acids and the presence of natural antioxidants, tahini nevertheless contributes to the nutritional balance. The proteins it contains also destine tahin to vegetarian diet devotees.

NUTRITIONAL STRENGTHS OF SESAME
The nutritional benefits of sesame seed are recognized by WHO, and they are numerous:

Rich in unsaturated fatty acids: 40% oleic acid (monounsaturated), and 40% linoleic or omega 6 (unsaturated poly). Omega 6 fatty acids, in particular, play a role in the balance of the nervous and cardiovascular system, the immune system and fight allergic and inflammatory reactions. Note that it is rare that our diet is deficient in omega 6 fatty acids, which are much more common than omega 3.

Antioxidant: an excellent source of vitamin E (in the form of gamma tocopherol, which is converted into vitamin E). Vitamin E would protect against cellular aging and cancer.

Excellent source of vitamin B1, which is involved in the transmission of nerve impulses, growth and energy production from carbohydrates.

Remineralizer: an excellent source of many minerals and trace elements (iron, calcium, copper, phosphorus, zinc, magnesium, manganese).

Slightly laxative, thanks to its 12% fiber content.

Contains phytoestrogens, in the form of lignans (sesamin). These lignans protect the cardiovascular system, lower the level of bad cholesterol, as well as blood pressure.

So, we start homemade hummus sauces or dressings ?

Tahini = Sauces, dressings & Hummus;

Tahini is  sesame butter, it is used in North African, Greek, Turkish and Middle Eastern cuisine. This makes a delicious butter that is especially good if you are trying to avoid dairy butter (which you should if you want to keep a check on calories!). It is used as an ingredient to make hummus, the delicious Arab dish which tastes even better with Conscious chick peas.

Here’s how you can make Tahini at home………or purchase Uk manufactured Alseedawi Tahini .

Roast sesame on an iron pan until you can smell the delicious sesame aroma and then hand grind this on iron, wood or stone for best results. Add Conscious Salt to taste. Add a dash of Conscious Sesame Oil  to facilitate the grinding process and to bind it together.

Famous Chefs recipes:

These are from the Middle Eastern chapter in Gordon Ramsay’s World Kitchen. You have to soak the chickpeas, but don’t have to cook them. I’ve simplified Ramsay’s tahini sauce, which he jazzed up (unnecessarily) with Greek yogurt and honey. You can serve these falafel on a plate with warmed pita and a salad. Or you can stuff them into warmed pitas, drizzle with sauce, and add chopped tomatoes and onions.

Gordon Ramsay’s Falafels with Tahini Sauce

Gordon Ramsay’s Falafels

Falafels:

1-3/4 cup (435 mL) dried chickpeas

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1/2 yellow onion, chopped

Pinch salt

2 tsp (10 mL) each: dried mint, ground cumin, ground coriander

1 tsp (5 mL) baking soda

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Finely grated zest of lemon

Leaves from 1 small bunch cilantro (about 1 cup/250 mL)

Vegetable oil for frying

Tahini Sauce:

1/4 cup (60 mL) tahini (sesame seed paste)

1 to 2 tbsp (15 to 30 mL) fresh lemon juice, to taste

1 to 2 tbsp (15 to 30 mL) warm water, optional

For falafels, soak chickpeas in large bowl of cold water overnight; drain. Rinse; drain well. 

In food processor, pulse garlic and onion until minced. Add chickpeas and salt. Pulse until consistency of coarse crumbs. Add mint, cumin, coriander, baking soda, pepper, lemon zest and cilantro. Blend until mixture is well combine with fine-crumb texture. (The trick here is to blend it enough that the mixture holds together, but not so much that it turns to paste and creates heavy falafels.)

Transfer mixture to large bowl. Shape by hand into golf ball sized balls, each about 2 tbsp (30 mL). Place on baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes to firm up falafels. (Makes about 18.)

To cook heat 3/4-inch (2-cm) depth oil in skillet or large, wide saucepan over medium high. Working in batches to fit skillet/pan, carefully lower 1 falafel at a time into oil. Cook 4 to 5 minutes, turning gently, until golden and crisp. Drain each batch on paper towel. Keep warm.

Meanwhile, for Tahini Sauce, in bowl, stir together tahini and lemon juice. Depending on how thick or runny your tahini is, you may need to thin with water. 

Serve falafels with tahini sauce.

Makes about 18 (about 6 servings).

Hummus recipe from work famous chef Jamie Oliver.

2 cups dried chick peas, soaked overnight
1 Tspn Rock salt
3 garlic cloves, peeled
3/4 cup tahini
1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/4 tspn pepper, more to taste
1/2 c filtered water, plus 1/2 cup or more as needed
rock salt to taste

Rinse the soaked chickpeas well, put in saucepan with 9 cups filtered water, plus 1 T of sea salt. Bring to a boil and cook over medium heat, uncovered, for 2 hours or until the chick peas are soft. As foam rises to the top, skim this off and discard. The foam contains the impurities of the beans (supposedly!) and is best to remove. You may need to add more water as it cooks down.

In a food processor, chop the garlic cloves. Add tahini, lemon juice and 1/2 c water, process until smooth and well combined.

Add cooked and drained chickpeas and cayenne to the bowl of the food processor with the tahini mixture. Process until well blended while adding additional 1/2 cup or more of water, as needed. Add sea salt to taste, as needed. Once blended, process another minute or so. The extra processing adds air to the hummus which gives the recipe a light, pleasing texture

Hummus is great with nearly any chopped vegetable. Add to sandwiches. Serve topped with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil or chopped parsley. Experiment with adding chopped olives or sun-dried tomatoes to the basic recipe for additional flavor.

Enjoy! Stay Conscious… stay healthy!