Hummus and Resolving the Tahini Mystery


Hummus & Carrots

Has this ever happened to you? You google for a yummy, healthy recipe of a dish you tried at your favorite restaurant. You start getting excited and suddenly, there is one such ingredient that you have never heard of. And your enthusiasm dies a slow painful death. You sigh and go back to your bag of potato chips because now you are very hungry from all the googling. This has been the long-abiding story of me and hummus.

Hummus is a beautiful dipping sauce that is served in Middle Eastern restaurants with toasted bread.It is protein-rich and makes for a yummy and delicious snack.

Every hummus recipe requires teaspoonfuls of tahini. And recipe writers assume that I know what tahini is simply because I have eaten at a Middle Eastern restaurant called Ali Baba. (Have you ever noticed how every city has one Middle Eastern restaurant called Ali Baba and one Indian restaurant called Tandoor? Stereotypes, I tell you!) This makes me want to write an Indian recipe with ingredients like rajma, amchoor, etc. and deliberately leave out the English  translations. I am diabolical that way.

I discovered that tahini is nothing but a paste of toasted sesame seeds (white til). And with that knowledge, I proceeded to make this beautiful hummus with a creamy, nutty taste. You can have it as a dipping sauce with carrots, celery, or kebabs, and you could also use it as a sandwich spread.

Serves 4


  • 1 15oz can/125 grams of chickpea (garbanzo, chhole)
  • 5 tbsp sesame seeds (white til)
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp coriander leaves (chopped)
  • Pinch of red chilli powder/paprika
  • Salt to taste


1. Toast the sesame seeds in a hot skillet/kadhai for 5 minutes till they get a light brown color. Make sure not to over-roast it because it will become bitter.

2. Drain the can of chickpeas. If you are using uncanned chickpeas, soak it overnight till it becomes soft.

3. Tip in the chickpeas, sesame seeds, 5 tbsp og olive oil into the blender. Blend till it gets a creamy consistency. If its too dry, add 1-2 teaspoons of water.

4. Transfer the mix into a bowl. Fold in the lime juice and coriander leaves.

5. Season with red chilli powder and salt.

Easy creamy hummus is ready!

P.S. I did have some fun while roasting the sesame seeds. Since Valentine’s day is just around the corner, my sesame heart, just for you! See you tomorrow 🙂



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