Also…


Correct me if I’m wrong, please, but isn’t this a picture of the Taj Mahal on the lid of my Tahini?

IMG_1856-560x373

Why, yes – it is –

040 (1)I have $20 for anyone who can give me a rational explanation as to why a food which originated in the Middle East has a picture of an Indian building on it. An explanation other than American’s don’t know geography or history.

This raises a lot of questions for me.

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Tahini-based sauces are common in Middle Eastern restaurants as a side dish or as a garnish, usually including lemon juice, salt and garlic, and thinned with water. Tahini sauce is also a popular topping for meat and vegetables in Middle Eastern cuisine.

In Turkey, tahini (tahin in Turkish) is mixed with pekmez to form a dish called tahin-pekmez. Due to its high-caloric nature, it is served as a breakfast item or after meals as a dessert to dip pieces of bread in, especially during the wintertime.

In Iraq and some Persian Gulf countries, tahini is mixed with date syrup (rub) to make a sweet dessert usually eaten with bread. In Cyprus, tahini, or locally called tashi, is used as dipping for bread and in pitta souvlaki rather than tzatziki, which is customary in Greece.

In Greece, tahini is used as a spread on bread either alone or topped with honey or jam. Jars of tahini ready-mixed with honey or cocoa are available in the breakfast food aisles of Greek supermarkets.

In Israel, tahini (t’hina in Hebrew) is a staple foodstuff. It is served as a dip with pita, a topping for falafel and shwarma, and as an ingredient in various spreads. It is also used as a cooking sauce for meat and fish[10] and in sweet desserts like halva parfait.[11]

In the Gaza Strip, a rust color variety known as “red tahina” is served in addition to ordinary tahina. It is achieved by a different and lengthier process of roasting the sesame seeds, and has a more intense taste. Red tahina is used in sumagiyya (lamb with chard and sumac) and salads native to the falaheen from the surrounding villages, as well as southern Gaza.

In Lebanon, tahini (t’hine in Arabic) is a staple foodstuff prepared with mashed garlic and lemon juice. It is served as a dip with pita, a topping for falafel and shwarma, and as an ingredient in various spreads. It is also used as a cooking sauce for meat and always served as a side with fish. It is also a main ingredient in a seafood dish called Siyadiyeh. Tahini is in sweet desserts like halva and halva with pistachios.

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Tahini can be prepared homemade or purchased at a Middle Eastern grocer in a can. It is called tahini or tahina, depending on the region.

tahini-recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 5 cups sesame seeds
  • 1 1/2 cups olive oil or vegetable oil

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350. Toast sesame seeds for 5-10 minutes, tossing the seeds frequently with a spatula. Do not allow to brown. Cool for 20 minutes.Pour sesame seeds into food processor and add oil. Blend for 2 minutes. Check for consistency. The goal is a thick, yet pourable texture. Add more oil and blend until desired consistency.

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