Is there a type of hummus without tahini?

Always assumed it was an essential ingredient, but in more than one ME place I’ve seen it listed as “Hummus with tahini”. Maybe they are just advertising they use it, since it is probably the most expensive ingredient, but I wondered if there are other kinds?

Seems like putting “Lasagna with ricotta cheese” on the menu.

I’ve seen recipes that use peanut butter instead (though I’ve assumed they were making a substitution for those unlikely to have tahini readily available).

Yes, I suspect their distinguishing it from the peanut butter kind. And I make lasagna without ricotta all the time.

“Hummus” actually just means chickpeas. When the word is used to refer to the prepared spread or dip, it’s a contraction of “hummus bi tahini.”

There’s plenty of lasagna without ricotta. Traditional lasagna is typically layers of ragú and besciamella (bechamel), with Parmesan, no ricotta. I’m not exactly sure where the ricotta comes from in Italian-American lasagna, but I assume it’s probably from Southern Italian or Sicilian versions of the dish.

As to the OP, to me, hummus without tahini is one of my pet peeves, and I’ve encountered it often enough for it to become a pet peeve of mine. (I’ve never had the peanut butter substitution, just no tahini). So I do appreciate it being advertised as such. It’s also possible that the “hummus with tahini” is a half-translation of “hummus bi tahina,” which would fully be translated as “chickpeas with tahini.”

Huh I was unaware of that and thought it referred to the spread.

So basically it could either be “we have the good stuff” or a shoddy translation.

Oh and about the ricotta thing :p, probably not the best example but the type with ricotta is my default version. I’ve had versions without cheese at all and I can remember being disappointing.


I’ve had hummus I suspected was made with PB, but I thought that was just like using ketchup to make a pizza. Not something a self respecting place would do.
I like hummus and always order it and it varies in quality a lot.

Hummus is made of chickpeas.
Tahini is made from sesame .
Hummus is thick, Tahini is liquidy.

Each is independent of the other.( Although they are often served together.)

Hummus is made by taking chickpea beans, grinding them up to a paste with a texture similar to peanut butter.
Tahini is a sauce, which you may or may not want to put on your hummus.

And Felafel is made of hummus paste shaped into balls and fried, and served in a pita bread. You then drizzle the tahini sauce on the felafel.

Thus sayeth the Lord .

I’ve never seen a “liquidy” tahini – it’s always been about the consistency of peanut butter – it’s usually described on the container as “sesame paste,” not a liquid. It is most definitely not a “sauce” at anything like room temperature.

And while “hummus” may actually just mean “chickpea”, 99% of Americans would use it to describe the spread made from chickpeas, garlic, tahini, lemon juice, and maybe a couple other spices blended together.

I have.

Wikipedia says that tahini is a paste. My wife uses sesame oil. I prefer hers over any commercial version I’ve had. I may have to try the peanut butter version some time… that is, ask her to try it.

I would bet that this has as much to do with advertising as anything else.

It’s like when my wife made focaccia bread for a bake sale. The previous year, she’d done really good stuff and then sold some of it at $3 per item, labeled “Focaccia bread.” This year, I took over the pricing and marketing. Traditional focaccia often has olive oil and cracked salt on top. My wife feels that these are just assumed. Well, when I did the labels, I put “Focaccia with pure sea salt and Italian extra virgin olive oil.” And I increased the price to $5 each. Result? She sold out halfway through. People were picking them up saying “Sea salt? I’ll take four.”

So even if we believe “hummus with tahini” to be a redundant and unnecessary clarification… I would predict that it will still sell better, and at a higher price, than “hummus.”

Huh I’ve never seen tahini sold alone or provided by itself in a ME restaurant.

You kind of have to add either tahini or peanut butter to hummus for it to have the right sticky paste texture, chick peas alone would not have the same consistency.

Also the times I have bought tahini it had a thick sticky texture, almost like peanut butter but the taste is very different.

Agreed, any tahini I’ve ever bought has been quite thick.

I think chappachula is talking about a thinned tahini-based sauce - per wikipedia:

All the tahini I’ve ever seen has been essentially liquid. A Google Image search confirms.

You…made me do this.

Remy - All About That Paste

All the tahini I have ever bought has been a paste, with a liquid on top. But before I use it (to add to chickpeas) I stir it.

I cannot stand chickpeas by themselves. Once tahini is added–along with maybe some garlic and roasted red pepper chunks–then I love hummus.

Same here. It’s pretty much a paste with the oil floating on top, just like with homemade peanut butter or other nut butters. Here’s one of the brand I use.

My cite is a chef friend who made hummus and it didn’t have tahini and it didn’t need it and it sounds like something “they” want you to buy or feel like a gastro-loser.

OK, Israeli stepping in:

Tahini is the thin, light stuff. It can be used as a dip or a condiment, and is a basic element of Israeli cuisine. The thick, brown stuff you get before you add the water, salt, lemon and garlic is “crude tahini”. It’s a basic component of hummus and can be used as a salad dressing and other culinary applications, but is rarely eaten as is.