How to make Tahini (Sesame Seed Butter)

by Michelle on October 13, 2009 · 8 comments

in Condiments


In this post I’m going to tell you how you can make your very own Tahini Paste!

What is Tahini? According to Purcell (2004, p. 227) Tahini is a paste made from ground Sesame Seeds. Purcell also states that Sesame Seeds are high in Calcium and that in order to absorb the calcium we need to use Sesame Seeds that are hulled (with the husks removed), as the husks contain oxalic acid, which prevents calcium from being absorbed.

How to make your own Tahini:


  • 1.5 Cup of White Hulled Sesame Seeds
  • 1 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil


  1. First soak your Sesame Seed for about 12 hours (to make them more digestible).
  2. Once they are soaked, drain them in a nut milk bag (so you don’t lose any of the seeds). Or you can soak them on a tea towel in a colander.
  3. Optional: Put in a pan and lightly dry roast them for a minute or 2 on low heat (don’t let them brown or worse burn!). Wait till they cool down for the next step. This also helps get rid of the water and makes them very flavourful.
  4. Add the now cooled and dry seeds to your blender along with the olive oil. Blend for a few minutes or until it becomes a thick but pour-able spread! Nb: You can add more oil if it becomes too thick.


  • You can omit the olive oil and just blend the seeds after toasting and cooling.


Health Food Lover



Health Food Lover is Michelle Robson-Garth. Michelle is a degree-qualified Naturopath (BHSc) and Massage Therapist. She is also a passionate writer, recipe-creator and all-round foodie from Melbourne, Australia. © Copyright: 2009-2012 Michelle Robson-Garth. Please ask permission first when using any text or images on Read the disclaimer here. Have a look at the recipe index for more health food lovin’ recipes. Join the Facebook page & follow Health Food Lover on twitter.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Danny October 15, 2009 at 8:28 am

I tried to made my own tahini but ended up with a dark black paste that tastes horribly bitter.

How come :(


michellesfhs October 15, 2009 at 11:28 am

Hi Danny. At which point did it end up turning black?
Did you soak them? Run me through how you made it.

Health Food Lover.


michellesfhs October 15, 2009 at 11:32 am

Also did you use white (unhulled), brown (hulled) or Black Sesame Seeds? And did the seeds turn black in the dry roasting stage?

Health Food Lover


Danny October 15, 2009 at 11:32 am

Hi Michelle
I soaked the seeds, toasted them (at which point they looked brown but not black) and blended them with the oil and the end result was black and bitter :(


michellesfhs October 15, 2009 at 11:49 am

Hi Danny,

When you toast them you only really want to do it for a few seconds. They can burn really easily so just do it for a few seconds making sure you keep moving the pan around to evenily disperse the heat. You don’t really want them to brown much or at all. So next time just do a very quick toast (and on a low heat). Also how long did you soak them for? The longer you soak them (overnight is good) the better as they are to blend (as they’re softer).

Give that a whirl and let me know how you go!


Danny October 15, 2009 at 11:40 am

The seeds were unhulled and not black


Danny October 15, 2009 at 12:22 pm

Thanks Michelle!
I realize now that I definitely burned them
I soaked them for 1 hour and toasted them for 5 minutes on very high flame :(

I will try again and will let you know. I’m looking forward to your sprouted tahini recipe :)


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