Sesame Sauce (Tarator)

I am the kind of person who loves things that go with everything. Whether it be a pair of worn-in jeans or my favorite colorful scarf, I revel in the happy effortlessness of reaching for something that I know will just ‘go.’

Naturally, this affinity extends into my doings in the kitchen. Though I’m somewhat a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants type cook (specifically: trying new recipes on guests, or inventing things based on what’s in the fridge), I love whipping up a known favorite after a busy day or night out.

Tarator is a simple but flavorsome sauce that swirls together nutty tahini with lemon juice, garlic and fresh parsley and, like my favorite jeans, goes with everything. Grilled chicken kebabs, whole baked fish, tuna sandwiches, roasted cauliflower and charred eggplant are a few of my favorite examples of simple dishes that pair beautifully wish this sauce.

At first, the tahini may separate as you whisk it together with the lemon juice. Just keep whisking – it will come together into a satiny sauce once the water is well incorporated. If serving tarator with a mild white fish, I recommend an extra teaspoon of parsley and lemon.


1/2 cup tahini
Juice of 1/2 lemon, plus additional squeezes to taste
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1 tsp salt
Optional: 1 clove garlic, crushed

In a mixing bowl, combine the tahini and lemon juice, stirring until smooth (initially it may separate, but will come together with more mixing). Add the water, chopped parsley, salt and garlic, if using, and stir again until well combined. Adjust lemon and salt, to taste. 
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Audio pairing: The Preachers, “Take A Card”
  • leaf (the indolent cook)

     Yes, I can so imagine this going with so many things. And easy to boot! Lovely. Hope you’re settling in the new place well.

  • Yasmeen

    Thanks, Leaf! Not quite in the new place yet – expecting to be in by August when all the reno’s are done. Fingers crossed :)

  • Blogger

    The spoon is amazing! I don’t get in the kitchen too often… The experience has shown that I shoud avoid it for other people’s health 😛

  • Junia Kim

    i love tahini in all forms! this dip/dressing sounds fabulous for veggies!

  • Yasmeen

    Thanks Junia – it’s great with roasted veggies!

  • Gerry @ Foodness Gracious

    Nice, for sure it would be awesome with some kebabs…making me hungry!!

  • Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella

    I love tarator and I was just given a jar of it and wondering how they make it. Thank you for solving that dilemma! 😀

  • tasteofbeirut

    Love tarator too; I end up using it on so many dishes including ones that don’t get paired with it normally! (it is also delicious with Seville orange juice or mandarin (called bousfeir in Lebano)

  • Rosa May

    That is one of my favorite sauces! I made it at least once a week…



  • Hannah

    I am utterly addicted to tahini at the moment, so I am 100% in for this :)

  • Scrambledmegsblog

    this looks pretty incredible and i just bought a jar of tahini, with no real idea what to do withit :)

  • awfullyfrench

    Being a great tahini fan myself, this is awesome. Beautifully silky and yet so simple. Yet it would taste awesome with papadom or something. Great!

  • Yasmeen

    Have you ever tried tahini with pomegranate molasses on toast or a cracker? Different to the usual PB&J and yum!

  • Yasmeen

    Beautiful idea with the orange juice, Joumana. I’ll definitely try that.

  • Ashley

    Love your little spoon! Very cute. :) And I love this sort of sauce with BBQ goodies, never tried to make it myself though!

  • Hannah

    I’ve been eating toasted english muffins with tahini and rhubarb jam every night for over three weeks now :) Great minds think alike!

  • Fatboo

    I’m a fan of tahini… so this seems to take it one step further! It’s cuisine that I’m unfamiliar with, but I can actually imagine how great it would taste!

  • leaf

    I can indeed imagine this sauce going with so many things! I’ll have to try it sometime. :)

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