Sesame Paste vs Tahini: Unveiling the Differences

Sesame paste and tahini are essentially the same thing. Tahini is a Middle Eastern name for the paste made from roasted sesame seeds, which is used in hummus and other dishes. While both terms can use interchangeably, tahini specifically refers to the paste made from roasted sesame seeds.

Sesame Paste vs Tahini

Also Read: Sesame oil vs Peanut oil: A Comprehensive Comparison

Overview Of Sesame Paste vs Tahini

AspectSesame PasteTahini
OriginMiddle Eastern cuisineMiddle Eastern cuisine
IngredientsGround sesame seeds, oilGround sesame seeds, oil
TextureCreamy, smoothCreamy, smooth
FlavourNutty, earthyNutty, earthy
UsesCulinary applications, dips, dressingsCulinary applications, dips, dressings
Cultural SignificanceUsed in various dishes across Middle Eastern, Mediterranean cuisinesIntegral part of Middle Eastern cuisine, widely used globally
ColorLight tan to dark brownLight tan to dark brown
ConsistencyVaries based on the preparationVaries based on preparation
VarietiesTraditional, light, dark, roastedTraditional, light, dark, roasted
NutritionRich in healthy fats and nutrientsRich in healthy fats and nutrients
Health BenefitsSource of protein, vitamins, mineralsSource of protein, vitamins, minerals
AllergiesPotential allergen (sesame)Potential allergen (sesame)
CookingUsed in sweet and savory dishesUsed in sweet and savoury dishes
Popular DishesHummus, baba ganoush, halvaHummus, baba ganoush, halva
AvailabilityWidely available in international grocery storesUsed in sweet and savoury dishes
DIY Preparationmade at homemade at home

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Sesame Paste vs Tahini: Understanding the Differences

Sesame paste and tahini are two popular ingredients in many cuisines around the world, especially in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean dishes. Although both are made from sesame seeds, there are some key differences between the two. In this article, we will explore the variations and similarities between sesame paste and tahini.

Definition and Origin

Sesame paste, also known as sesame butter, is a paste made from ground toasted sesame seeds. It is used in various Asian dishes, including Chinese and Japanese cuisine.

Tahini, on the other hand, is a type of sesame paste that originated in the Middle East. It is made from hulled sesame seeds, which are ground and mixed with a small amount of oil to create a smooth and creamy paste.

Ingredients and Texture

Sesame paste contains only one ingredient – sesame seeds. The seeds are roasted to enhance their flavour and then ground into a paste-like consistency. It has a thick and slightly grainy texture.

Tahini is made from hulled sesame seeds, which means the outer shell has been removed. The seeds are then ground and mixed with a small amount of oil, usually sesame oil, to create a smoother texture. Tahini has a creamy and velvety consistency.

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Flavour Profile

Sesame paste has a rich, nutty flavour with a slightly bitter undertone. It adds depth and complexity to dishes and can be used as a base for sauces, dressings, and marinades.

Tahini has a milder and more subtle flavour compared to sesame paste. It is creamy and has a slightly sweet and nutty taste. Tahini is often used as a key ingredient in dips like hummus and baba ganoush.

Culinary Uses

Sesame paste is widely used in Asian cuisine. It is an essential ingredient in dishes such as sesame noodles, goma dressing, and tahini chicken. It can also be used as a condiment or spread, similar to peanut butter.

Tahini is a staple in Middle Eastern cuisine. It is used in dishes like hummus, falafel, and tahini sauce. Tahini can also be used as a topping for roasted vegetables, as a dressing for salads, or as a spread on toast.

Nutritional Value

Sesame paste is a good source of healthy fats, protein, and fibre. It is also rich in minerals such as calcium, iron, and magnesium. Additionally, it contains beneficial antioxidants and vitamins.

Tahini is packed with nutrients. It is an excellent source of healthy fats, including omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. It is also a good source of protein, fibre, and minerals like iron and calcium.

Also Read: Avocado vs Guacamole: Which is the Ultimate Superfood?

Final Comment

While both sesame paste and tahini are made from sesame seeds, they have distinct differences in terms of their ingredients, texture, flavour profile, and culinary uses. Sesame paste is used in Asian cuisine, while tahini is a staple in Middle Eastern dishes. Both are nutritious and delicious additions to various recipes, so feel free to experiment and explore the unique flavours they bring to your dishes!

What is the difference between sesame paste and tahini?

Sesame paste is made from whole sesame seeds, while tahini is made from hulled sesame seeds. Tahini has a milder flavour and smoother texture compared to sesame paste.

Can sesame paste be used as a substitute for tahini?

Yes, sesame paste can be used as a substitute for tahini in most recipes, although the flavour and texture may be slightly different.

Is tahini the same as sesame oil?

No, tahini is made from ground sesame seeds, while sesame oil is obtained by pressing the seeds. They have different flavours and uses.

Does Tahini need to be refrigerated?

Tahini can be stored at room temperature, but refrigerating it can help extend its shelf life and prevent it from going rancid.

Is Tahini gluten-free?

Yes, tahini is gluten-free as it is made solely from sesame seeds.

Can tahini cause allergies?

Some individuals with sesame seed allergies may also be allergic to tahini. If you have allergies or sensitivities, it’s best to consult a healthcare professional.

How long does Tahini last?

An unopened jar of tahini can last up to two years, while an opened jar can last for several months if stored properly in the refrigerator.

Can I make tahini at home?

Yes, you can make tahini at home by grinding roasted sesame seeds until they turn into a smooth paste. Some oil can be added to achieve the desired consistency.

Can tahini be used in sweet recipes?

Yes, tahini can be used in sweet recipes like cookies, cakes, and desserts to add a unique nutty flavour and creamy texture.

How can I use tahini in savoury dishes?

You can use tahini as a dressing for salads, a dip for vegetables, a sauce for grilled meats, or as an ingredient in hummus and other Middle Eastern dishes.


This Mitu and very fond of making new food recipe and trying something analytical comparison between foods.

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