Preheat a wide skillet over low heat, then add the sesame seeds. Cook them, stirring often, until fragrant and golden brown - about 5 minutes.
Transfer the sesame seeds to a high-speed food processor or blender. Blend the seeds into a creamy, smooth paste, pausing the machine to scrape down the sides of the jug as needed. During this process, it will first become a crumbly paste before eventually smoothing out in a creamy consistency.The longer you leave the machine running, the smoother and runnier it will become. I blend mine for around 7-10 minutes, giving the machine a break halfway to avoid overheating.
If you want to add a pinch of salt, do so now, seasoning to taste. Blitz to incorporate.Then, transfer the homemade tahini to a sterilized jar!
Money-saving tip: If you can, buy sesame seeds in bulk in Middle Eastern/Asian markets for the best price. Hulled sesame seeds (which are a light golden color) are the best for homemade tahini.
Hulled vs.unhulled sesame seeds: I highly recommend using hulled sesame seeds when you make your own tahini. While it's technically possible to use unhulled (and sprouted) sesame seeds, I find the resulting sesame paste is usually more bitter. It's also harder to blend as smooth.
Don't burn the seeds: When toasting the seeds on the stovetop, always do so over low heat and stirring often. Burning the seeds can result in a bitter-tasting tahini paste.
Use a high-powered food processor/blender: If your machine isn't powerful enough, you may need extra oil to help the seeds blend into a smooth sesame paste.
Have patience: Like any nut or seed butter, this process takes time. It may look like a failure for the first few minutes, but just keep blending (giving the machine breaks every few minutes). During the process, it will become a crumbly dough, form into a sticky ball, and eventually smooth out into a creamy, runny sauce-like consistency.
Check the blog post for usage recommendations and answers to top FAQs!