Definition of tahini in English:


(also tahina)

Pronunciation /tɑːˈhiːni//təˈhiːni/


mass noun
  • A Middle Eastern paste or spread made from ground sesame seeds.

    • ‘Sesame seeds, valued for their high protein content, are used in popular Middle Eastern dishes like tahini, hummus and halva.’
    • ‘Add the white beans, tahini, lemon juice, salt, and a pinch or two of cumin.’
    • ‘Kasrah is often eaten with dips, such as babaghanuj, a dip made of mashed, roasted eggplant mixed with lemon, tahini (sesame seed paste), and a pinch of salt.’
    • ‘I would eat foods that were made famous thousands of years ago such as hummus, tahini, pitta bread, olives from the Holy Land, dates and figs.’
    • ‘If there is some left over from the day before, hummus - a mixture of mashed chickpeas, garlic, lemon and tahina, a sesame-based sauce - can also find a place on the breakfast table.’
    • ‘The main course is best accompanied by baba ghanoush tahini and an onion-and-tomato salad dressed with peanut butter and olive oil.’
    • ‘After a hurried lunch of brown beans doused in tahini with salad and chips, we set off.’
    • ‘A steamy bowl of country soup made with farro and shreds of savoy cabbage arrived after that, and then a dish of squid salad doused with garlic, soft chickpeas, and a dressing that tasted pleasingly of lemons and tahini.’
    • ‘The mixture of garbanzo beans, tahini (sesame paste), and garlic is a Middle-Eastern staple that found its way to the U.S. over the last decade or two.’
    • ‘Nuts, seeds and dried fruits are good sources of zinc, as are sprouted legumes, seeds and grain, tahini, fermented soya products like tempeh and miso, and legumes.’
    • ‘Most baba ghanouj dips in town depend on garlic, or lemon, or quantities of sesame-based tahini sauce for their character.’
    • ‘Make the dressing by mixing the yoghurt, tahini paste and olive oil in a blender or with a small whisk.’
    • ‘The hummus was creamy with tahini and lemon, although the pittas were a bit dry.’
    • ‘In a food processor, combine the chickpeas, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, salt, water and tahina, if you are using it, and whiz to a creamy purée, adding more water if need be.’
    • ‘The hummus is subtlety itself, thin-textured and nutty with sesame tahini.’
    • ‘Put the saucepan back over low heat, add tahini, pepper and chili powder, and stir to combine.’
    • ‘For supper they are given pitta bread, tahini and stuffed vine leaves, which they poke at mistrustfully with their fingers - there is no cutlery.’
    • ‘It's a brilliant relish for grilled meats when beaten with tahini (sesame seed paste) and spices, and an equally brilliant relish for grilled meats or curries when spiced with toasted cumin seeds and nigella.’
    • ‘Place the chickpeas in a food processor with the garlic, lemon juice, tahini, olive oil and paprika and salt and pepper to taste.’
    • ‘The combination of tahini and date syrup makes a classic Middle Eastern spread for bread.’


From modern Greek takhini, based on Arabic ṭaḥana ‘to crush’.