Unusual ingredients: Tahini

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    Tahini is a condiment made from toasted sesame seeds, commonly used in Middle Eastern and North African cuisines. It is probably best known as the main ingredient in hummus and baba ghanoush — although it can also be served as a dip by itself — and has a wide range of health benefits: it’s rich in vitamins and minerals, an excellent source of calcium and is packed with protein. It’s also high in heart-healthy unsaturated fats.

    The easiest way to use tahini is to make your own hummus or baba ghanoush, simple dips which you can whizz together in your food processor. Since tahini already contains oil, it can alternatively be emulsified with an acid such as lemon juice to create delicious salad dressings. Mix tahini with peanut butter to make a simple dressing for cold noodles; spread it on bread with a drizzle of honey for a typical Greek breakfast; toss some through vegetables before roasting; or combine with lamb koftas and some salad in a warm pitta bread. You can even use it to make cookies!