I ran out of tahini recently. How I’m not sure, but it happened. At the moment I realized I was out of tahini, I was making hummus, and everything else was in the food processor all ready to blend. How do you make hummus without tahini? My friend Chris, a seriously skilled cook, was over and said, “Don’t you have sesame oil? I use that all the time.”
Really? REALLY? There were, and almost always are, 4 little open bottles of sesame oil in the fridge (it’s a total staple ingredient in our house, for all kinds of Asian dishes), so that was easy. And now, while I’ve always thought Chris was smart, I think he’s a genius. Hummus with sesame oil instead of tahini is fantastic, different and similar at the same time.
Sesame oil is more potently sesame-ish than tahini, so start with a smaller amount than you would normally use of tahini – say 1 tablespoon, blend it up, and taste an add more if you want a more pronounced sesame flavor.
My favorite hummus is now made with a combo of tahini and sesame oil. I also read that sunflower butter is a smart subsitute for tahini in hummus, which makes sense. Peanut butter was another suggestion I’ve heard, though I would think that would give you a very different hummus….but still one that I’ll be curious to try. And finally, I have made hummus without tahini and wthout subbing in another nutty type of alternative, and it’s also just delicious – the flavors of lemon and cumin and garlic really shine through, along with the chickpeas of course. I think of that as a chickpea dip, though, not really hummus.
Anyway, there are a lot of ways to play with no-tahini-in-the-house hummus. Just don’t out of chickpeas. Bu if you do, make this instead.
Sesame Oil Hummus Without Tahini
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 cans 19-ounce chick peas, drained and rinsed
- 3 to 5 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil plus extra for drizzling if desired
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- ½ cup water approximately
- Place the garlic and chickpeas in the food processor and pulse a few times. Add 3 teaspoons of the sesame oil, lemon juice, olive oil, cumin, and salt and pepper. Puree and with the motor running add about 1/3 cup of the water. Allow the mixture to process for about two minutes (see Cooking Tip), adding more water if you’d like a thinner consistency. Taste and add additional sesame oil if desired.
- Transfer to a serving bowl, drizzle with a bit of olive oil if you like, and sprinkle with the paprika or cayenne.
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