Hangry guests on their way to watch the season finale? Craving something to dip your
carrots breadsticks into that isn’t hummus for once? You are out of store-bought salad dressing and need a quick sauce to make those formidable thick kale leaves go down? I got you. Well, this Mediterranean vegan tahini dip has got you. With only 5 minutes and a few familiar ingredients to prepare, hibeş is my go-to dip/sauce for all kinds of relatable situations.
Hashtag can’t relate? Try it anyway. Tastes pretty good.
Best Tahini for Hibeş (pronounced hee-bash)
Chefs interviewed by the New Yorker say that “white humera sesame seeds from the Tigray region of northwestern Ethiopia are the best for tahini”. Serious Eats agrees. I trust them. If you can get your hands on the following brands, you might end up skipping the entire recipe and eat straight out of the jar Nutella-style. But don’t. Delayed gratification will pay off dividends.
- Soom: Pricy? Yes… but oh so creamy.
- Tarazi: This is what we use at home 99% of the time.
- Seed + Mill: This New York City-based brand is Saveur-approved.
- Trader Joe’s brand tahini: Honorable mention goes to good old TJ’s because theirs is also sourced from Ethiopia! I can’t say it tastes as good as Tarazi though.
Uses for Mediterranean Vegan Tahini Dip
You can make this recipe work in many different ways. Our favorite is to enjoy it as part of a Turkish mezze spread. On days where we don’t feel that extra, I love to eat it with:
- Carrots & celery
- Baked sweet potato
If you go heavier with water for a thinner consistency, use it as a sauce on:
- Vegan bulgur meatballs
- Roasted eggplant
- Crispy chickpeas
Whichever tahini you pick, just make sure it only lists sesame seeds as the sole ingredient and you’ll be well on your way to a WFPB dip. We also are not using any added oils with this one, so not much to modify. Skip the salt if you want to make it 100% hEaLtH.
In addition to the high amounts of phosphorus, iron, and certain B-vitamins— tahini is a great source of copper.Print
This traditional Mediterranean vegan tahini dip recipe is quick and easy to make, using only a few ingredients you likely already have. Accidentally vegan, gluten free, WFPB, and oil-free.
- 1 cup tahini
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 4 cloves of garlic, pressed
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon salt (+more to taste)
- 1/3 cup warm water (+more for thinner consistency)
- Press the garlic into a bowl and squeeze lemon(s) on top. Let it marinate for 5 minutes minimum.
- Mix in the tahini. It will look very grainy at this point but don’t worry- it’ll get smooth again soon.
- Add water and mix. It is better to start with less liquid than more since tahini brands vary greatly in consistency. Add double the amount for a “dressing”, or as noted above for a “dipping sauce”.
- Add the spices. Salt to taste.
- Store in the fridge for up to 10 days.
* If you must, skip marinating the garlic but make sure the garlic is pressed VERY finely if you do so. Any big chunks will create an unpleasant sulfury taste, especially after a few days in storage. You can also sub 2 teaspoons of garlic powder.
*In Northern Cyprus, they make this mezze (appetizer) without garlic or cumin. Go for that if you want a more neutral taste that goes with everything.
*Use regular paprika if smoked paprika is not available. In fact, the traditional recipe would call for regular paprika, but I love the added depth that its smoked cousin brings.