The tahini paste used to make tahini dip is called tashi in Cyprus. It is made with hulled, toasted sesame seeds and most likely arrived in Cyprus from the Middle East, where it continues to be a staple in both Arab and Israeli cooking.
It was mentioned as an ingredient in Arab cookery all the way back in the 13th century. Tahini paste can be served on its own as a dip with no additional ingredients, or you can add a few things to enhance its flavor.
Tahini dip is a key part of Cypriot mezes and is traditionally served with warm, fresh bread or pitta.
In many restaurants on Cyprus, tahini dip will be brought before the main course as an appetizer; it is often served with olives.
- 5 Tbsp Tahini (natural)
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 1 – 2 cloves of garlic
- 1/2 Tsp salt
- 1/2 Cup lukewarm water
- 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Tbsp Parsley or cilantro, for garnishing (optional)
- A pinch of freshly ground pepper, optional
Heat the water to dissolve the tahini.
In a food processor add the tahini, garlic, lemon juice and salt. Process to form a cream, adding the water and finally the olive oil.
Sprinkle some parsley or cilantro on top.
Cover with cling film and store in the refrigerator.
Makes about 1 cup of tahini sauce.