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.”
Sesame Oil in Hummus
Really? REALLY? There were, and almost always are, a couple of 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.
What is Sesame Oil
Sesame oil is literally oil pressed from sesame seeds. You cant to buy toasted sesame oil, not raw sesame oil, which doesn’t have as pronounced a nutty flavor. Raw sesame oil is often used for cooking/frying in Asian cuisine. Toasted 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 and add more if you want a more pronounced sesame flavor.
Hummus with Sesame Oil and Tahini
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 without 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 run out of chickpeas. But if you do, make this instead.
More Dips and Spreads Recipes:
- 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.
Made this recipe? Post a photo of your delicious creation on Instagram with our hashtag #dinnersolved