In this gastronomic post we do not deal with a dish per se, but with an ingredient commonly used to enrich many typical Egyptian dishes. We are talking about the tahiniwhich can be considered a real wild card. Here are the details.
What is tahini and what it is used for
The tahini is, in origin, a paste made from sesame seeds which, in turn, are extracted from the plant of the same name or sesame. It is a very popular pasta throughout the Middle East, and also in the eastern Mediterranean.
The paste has a more compact consistency and is used to cook other dishes. For some, it could be the equivalent of other pastes to enrich elaborations, such as peanut paste.
On the other hand, one can also speak of tahini sauce. tahini: is precisely a sauce with a creamier consistency that has this paste as its main ingredient, in addition to crushed garlic cloves, salt, lemon juice and cumin, among others. This sauce can be used in dishes as varied as hamburgers and Egyptian meat dishes, such as shawarma. It can also be used as a salad dressing, providing creaminess.
We say that tahini is a wild card because it can be used in many different dishes. The two most popular are probably hummus and baba ganoush, which can be considered the eggplant version of hummus: the tahini goes perfectly with these creams, which are usually spread on bread or dipped in it, sometimes as a starter or side dish.
But the list of possibilities is much longer. The following proposals serve as examples:
- Other vegetarian creams, such as mushroom or artichoke creams
- Sweet spreads, such as cocoa and hazelnut spreads or honey (tahinomelnut) spreads
- Smoothies: the sweetness of the batino camouflages the strong flavor of the tahini, which enriches the drink.
Can you find tahini in Egypt?
Yes, you can find tahini in Egypt. And in fact, it is very likely that you will drink it without realizing it, since it is used in many typical dishes of the country, such as the aforementioned hummus, baba ganoush or shawarma. In addition, tahini paste can be purchased in stores in its most common format: in jars.
At other times, the tahini is homemade and reserved for daily use. This way it is necessary to refrigerate the tahini, but normally it is not necessary… unless it is very hot, so in Egypt it is common to keep it in the refrigerator.
As you can see, you will have the opportunity to find tahini in EgyptWhether in restaurants or in stores, you can take good note of the usefulness of this ingredient on your return. And in Egypt Exclusive we will help you find places where you can taste local and traditional gastronomy of the highest quality.