tahini (tuh-HEE-nee) listen
techina (TCHEE-nuh) listen


  • n. A paste made from ground sesame seeds that is used in hummus, halva, and baba ghanoush.

Example Sentences

  • "Can you put some tahini on my falafel?"

  • "I made a salad with a vegan tahini dressing."

  • "Spoon some tehina into a small bowl." (source)

Languages of Origin

  • Modern Hebrew
  • Arabic / Judeo-Arabic


  • Modern Hebrew טחינה techina 'ground (sesame)' from Arabic طحينة TaHiina

    • Who Uses This

      • Jews: Jews of diverse religious backgrounds and organizational involvements
      • Israel: Diaspora Jews who feel connected to Israel and have spent time there
      • Non-Jews: (words that have spread outside of Jewish networks)


      • North America
      • Australia / New Zealand


      • The JPS Dictionary of Jewish Words, by Joyce Eisenberg and Ellen Scolnic, (Philadelphia, 2001).
      • Dictionary of Jewish Usage: A Popular Guide to the Use of Jewish Terms, by Sol Steinmetz (Lanham, MD, 2005).

      Alternative Spellings

      techinah, tachinah, tehinah, tahinah, tehini, tekhina, takhina, techina, tachina, tehina, tahina, takhinah, tekhinah, tehina


  • "Tahini is often mixed with lemon juice, olive oil, chopped parsley, and spices and eaten as a dip, with pita bread and hummus. It's also used as a sauce on falafel and shawarma" (JPS).

    Not to be confused with tkhine, which is a prayer in Yiddish that Jewish women would often recite when lighting the Shabbat candles.

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