My first blog post is dedicated to a staple of the Israeli / Middle Eastern kitchen, as well as to the vegan kitchen.
T-chi-na as we call it in Israel, is a sauce/dressing/paste/dip that is made out of ground sesame seeds. It can be made plain and simple and it can be upgraded with tastes and colors. I eat Tchina on salads, pasta, and rice, and in sandwiches. It can be used as a dip for almost everything, and it is essential sauce for Falafel and Sabich (coming soon!) and you cannot make Hummus without it!
Here I present three variations of Tchina: Parsley Tchina, 3 Herbs Tchina (which is basically the parsley Tchina with two more herbs!), and Creamy Tchina.
Ingredients: [make a medium box – good for two people – for a week – unless you eat it all immediately, which is a possibility!]
- 6-8 spoons of Raw Tahini – some people would die defending the best raw tahini in their opinion. It has become a topic of culinary wars but me, as a well-known pacifist, refuse to take part in these wars…The trick for good raw tahini is to taste it a bit in its raw form – if it is smooth and full with sesame flavor it is probably good tahini!
- 2-3 garlic cloves – crushed
- Juice from one lemon
- Handful of parsley leaves – washed, dried and separated from stems
- Freshly ground salt & pepper
- Half a glass of water
- Wash parsley well, pick the leaves, chop them small (I have herbs scissors) and put them a large bowl
- Press garlic cloves into the bowl
- Add some salt & pepper, lemon juice and 6-8 spoons of tahini
- Add a 1/4 of a glass of water and start mixing with a fork – add a bit more water while mixing.
The paste should not be too watery but should drip from the fork – so add water carefully – if too watery add a spoon of raw tahini – the tahini will become thicker when storage in the fridge so no panic!
- 3 Herbs Tahini:
Same but with a handful of cilantro (yum!) and Moroccan mint (aka Nana – sweet and aromatic)
- Creamy Tahini:
Same, but instead of mixing with a fork, using a hand mixer or a blender to create a smooth creamy paste.