Take the 2-minute tour ×
Seasoned Advice is a question and answer site for professional and amateur chefs. It's 100% free, no registration required.

If I don't have tahini is there anything similar to use to make hummus?

share|improve this question
    
We make hummus but not that often. We got tahini for it and don't really use it for anything else. The 1 jar we've bought has lasted a really long time in the refrigerator and has been well worth it. –  Dinah Jul 18 '10 at 23:57
2  
@Dinah: you can make Tahini salad out of Tahini: mix 1 portion of tahini with one portion of water, add 1 crushed garlic clove, some lemon juice, salt, cumin and chopped parsley. –  Electric Monk Jul 19 '10 at 18:56
4  
As a Lebanese person I can tell you that no, there is not. Tahini is necessary. Now, you can use some alternatives, but we have to then debate the label "hummus." While the word "hummus" is commonly used, the real name is "hummus be thini", of "chick-peas in tahini." Hummus can refer to another variety we eat for brunch, as well as chick-peas themselves. –  Mohamad Jul 19 '11 at 18:12
add comment

11 Answers

up vote 14 down vote accepted

Sort of.

If you have sesame seeds on hand, grind some up. You could also use toasted sesame oil, and even combine it with the ground seeds.

You can also use all-natural peanut butter. Don't use mass market crap with sugar and other additives. The ingredients should list only: peanuts, salt. Obviously, this will taste like peanuts. It will still taste good in a hummus, but it will be a distinctly different hummus than with tahini.

share|improve this answer
2  
I have some toasted black sesame seeds, I might try them. –  fryguybob Jul 17 '10 at 3:13
2  
I am a little apprehensive about calling it "hummus" when in fact it uses peanut butter. The name "hummus" merely means chick-peas. The full name is "hummus be t'hini", which means "hummum in tahini". –  Mohamad Jul 19 '11 at 16:35
add comment

You can make something vaguely approximating hummus just by leaving out the tahini, but it won't have the characteristic tanginess of an authentic hummus and will end up tasting more like a chickpea salad.

share|improve this answer
4  
Agreed. Tahini is a central ingredient of hummus. Accept no substitute! –  Mike Sherov Jul 17 '10 at 3:05
2  
Yeah I tried that a few weeks ago and it was definitely missing something. –  fryguybob Jul 17 '10 at 3:14
1  
I agree that without tahini it's more like chickpea-spread but if the tahini is being omitted because of an allergy it'll still be pretty good. Just make sure there's garlic and maybe an herb and yogurt to make it tasty. –  Eric Goodwin Aug 8 '11 at 13:48
add comment

Making tahini is quite a simple process, it's simply a combination of sesame seeds and olive oil. To make toast a quantity of sesame in the oven, on a moderate heat, for 5 to 10 minutes, but don't let them burn. Allow the to cool then, combine them in a food processor with olive oil. Add enough oil to reach the consistency you desire.

share|improve this answer
    
Tahini is traditionally made with a neutrally flavored oil. –  hobodave Jul 17 '10 at 4:12
3  
That really depends. As you travel around the Middle East you will find that it's very often made with Olive oil. –  Pulse Jul 17 '10 at 4:39
add comment

You could try peanut butter (or any other nut butter, especially one with a light flavor and no salt or sugar added). Another option is sesame oil, but only add a little bit at a time, checking the flavor and consistency of your hummus as you go.

share|improve this answer
    
Sunbutter or sunflower seeds might work too. Their flavor is a little different but definitely not unpleasant, and not as strong as most nut butters. –  GalacticCowboy Jul 23 '10 at 14:59
add comment

Tahini is sesame seed butter, so you could reasonably substitute any nut butter. It won't taste the same, but it'll be edible! Some people don't like tahini in their hummus and use olive oil and ground cumin in its place.

share|improve this answer
add comment

I mix one part flax seeds and one part Olive Oil. It's pretty good, and you get more fiber. ;)

share|improve this answer
add comment

I'm allergic to sesame (it sucks), so I use sunflower seed butter. I really like it, but I don't really know what I'm missing.

share|improve this answer
add comment

I loved hummus but then found out that I am allergic to sesame seeds. To substitute, I have used sunflower seed butter, almond butter or cashew butter. I have also tried combining a few of the nut butters for a more complex taste with good results. I have heard peanut butter works, but I am also allergic to peanuts so I cannot say much about it. Whatever you use as a substitute, make sure it does not contain a lot of ingredients, like sugar. My best substitute is to take raw, unsalted cashews and either soak them overnight or simmer them in water for about 20 minutes. The cashews will get really soft. Drain, then add 1:1 cashews and fresh water. Blend. The consistency will be very creamy like tahini. I know that what I make is not authentic hummus, but I still enjoy it.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Peanut butter can be used. While it makes a tasty hummus, the flavor of tahini is definitely more authentic.

share|improve this answer
2  
You can cover that lack of authenticity with a tablespoon or two of toasted sesame oil, available at most asian groceries. The oil keeps well, and is also very tasty in homemade coleslaw. –  Wayfaring Stranger Apr 21 '11 at 23:12
add comment

What about using pine nuts, as used in Pesto?

share|improve this answer
1  
How would you prepare the pine nuts for use in a hummus recipe? –  sourd'oh Oct 28 '13 at 17:04
    
I think that pine nut butter could actually work, if the OP finds the taste change and price acceptable, so I am not deleting this despite flags. Still, expanding it to a real answer would have been much better. –  rumtscho Oct 28 '13 at 17:06
add comment

Not all hummus needs tahini. For example at a tunsian restaurant down the street they are tahini free.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.