Definition of tahini in US English:


(also tahina)


  • A Middle Eastern paste or sauce made from ground sesame seeds.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Make the dressing by mixing the yoghurt, tahini paste and olive oil in a blender or with a small whisk.’
    • ‘Add the white beans, tahini, lemon juice, salt, and a pinch or two of cumin.’
    • ‘The main course is best accompanied by baba ghanoush tahini and an onion-and-tomato salad dressed with peanut butter and olive oil.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Sesame seeds, valued for their high protein content, are used in popular Middle Eastern dishes like tahini, hummus and halva.’
    • ‘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 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.’
    • ‘For supper they are given pitta bread, tahini and stuffed vine leaves, which they poke at mistrustfully with their fingers - there is no cutlery.’
    • ‘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 hummus was creamy with tahini and lemon, although the pittas were a bit dry.’
    • ‘Most baba ghanouj dips in town depend on garlic, or lemon, or quantities of sesame-based tahini sauce for their character.’
    • ‘After a hurried lunch of brown beans doused in tahini with salad and chips, we set off.’
    • ‘The combination of tahini and date syrup makes a classic Middle Eastern spread for bread.’
    • ‘Put the saucepan back over low heat, add tahini, pepper and chili powder, and stir to combine.’
    • ‘Place the chickpeas in a food processor with the garlic, lemon juice, tahini, olive oil and paprika and salt and pepper to taste.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The hummus is subtlety itself, thin-textured and nutty with sesame tahini.’


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