Developed from various sources. The softening trick is from the Cookie and Kate website.

I’d recommend making your own tahini, as it’s easy, and better than shop tahini. But you can use shop tahini if you’re in a rush.


  • Can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  • Baking soda
  • Lemon juice
  • Large clove of garlic
  • Salt
  • Sesame seeds, preferably toasted (or tahini)
  • Cumin
  • Olive oil
  • Smoked paprika (optional)


Drain and rinse the chickpeas. (You could save a few for garnishing at the end.) Put them in a saucepan with half a teaspoon of baking soda, cover them with water, and boil for twenty minutes to soften them. Strain them, rinse them in cold water, and set them aside.

Meanwhile, make the tahini. If you haven’t got toasted sesame seeds and have time, toast a few tablespoons over a low heat in a large pan. The put the few tablespoons in a powerful food processor and blend for a few minutes until they form a thick paste. Add a little olive oil — perhaps a tablespoon — and blend for another minute or two. Scrape out the tahini and set it aside.

Roughly chop the garlic clove and put it in the food processor with some lemon juice and a teaspoon of salt. Blend until the garlic’s no longer visible, and then leave for at least ten minutes to mellow the garlic’s flavour.

Add the tahini to the food processor and blend, scraping the mix off the sides with a silicone scraper if you need to.

Grind half a teaspoon of cumin and add it and the chickpeas to the blender. Blend, drizzling in at least a tablespoon of olive oil.

Adjust taste and consistency with water, olive oil, salt and lemon juice as needed.

Serve in a bowl with, as you wish, olive oil, smoked paprika, an olive or two, or a few chickpeas to garnish.