Tarator Sauce

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This is an optional sauce that is wonderful with the burger, and also as a salad dressing or sauce for a rice or grain bowl. 

I love this sauce with short-grained brown rice. In fact, one of my favorite quick meals can be made with short-grain brown rice with feta cheese, fresh herbs, tarator sauce, and avocado.

Tarator is a creamy Lebanese tahini sauce made with sesame, lemon juice, fresh garlic, and a pinch of salt. 

In this version, I’ve added soy sauce for extra savory taste, and a bit of cayenne pepper or red chili to dial up the flavor. 

It’s super creamy and flavorful, full of healthy fats, and wonderful on almost anything. 

It takes only 5-10 minutes to make, just as long as it would take to incorporate the ingredients in a blender. 

Traditionally, tarator has been served with falafel and beef shawarma. It may also be drizzled on rice, salad, or cooked vegetables. 

tarator sauce
Close up of traditional oriental sause tahini in spoon over ceramic bowl and sesame seeds on light grey background. Selective focus. Blurred background.

Drizzle tarator sauce on …

  • roasted vegetables
  • steamed veggies
  • rice and other grains
  • lentils, such as my Simple French lentils
  • chicken or beef
  • roasted salmon
  • grilled meats


Tahini is a paste made from ground-up sesame seeds. Be sure to stir before using as the oils tend to rise to the top.

In Ayurveda, sesame oil is always the oil of choice for the self-massage technique known as abhyanga.

Sesame is heating, alkalizing, and high in calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, fats, and protein.


Olive oil is good for heart health and has strong anti-inflammatory properties, but when cooking with it, you should always use low temperatures (<365 degrees Fahrenheit) to avoid oxidation.

In general, olive oil is the best choice for raw dressings, and as an extra drizzle on food. A good olive oil will taste pungent and bitter, and hit you in the back of the throat. Look for a bottle that lists the source of the olives, a bottling date, and/or best before date.


Fresh lemon juice is an ingredient you’ll find in a lot of my recipes, especially in the spring.

Lemons and limes stimulate your digestive juices and increase hydration. They are also anti-inflammatory and alkaline, despite being sour in taste.

Fresh lemon stimulates bile flow, which aids in fat digestion, reduces congestion, and purifies the blood.


Keep unused tarator sauce in in a sealed glass jar. It will thicken up in the fridge. In that case, add extra water to thin it out. 

It will last 7-10 days in the freezer – if it lasts that long.

Optional add-ins

  • A pinch of cumin
  • fresh herbs, such as cumin or parsley
  • lime juice for all of some of the citrus

Recipe for Tarator Sauce

Course: Condiment
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 48kcal
A delightful sauce rich in healthy fats from sesame seeds, and high in antioxidants from garlic, fresh lemon juice, and cayenne pepper.
Print Recipe


  • 3 tablespoons tahini (sesame paste)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 3 tablespoons lemon freshly squeezed (1-2 lemons)
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce (or Tamari or liquid aminos)
  • 1 clove garlic grated or finely chopped
  • pinch cayenne or red pepper
  • pinch mineral salt


  • Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix with a spoon until well blended and smooth.
  • Add more water if necessary to thin it out. Note that it will thicken up in the refrigerator. If you need to thin it out after refrigeration, stir in extra water to improve the consistency.
  • Transfer to a glass jar and use 1-2 tablespoons per portion. Stores in the fridge for 7-10 days.


Optional add-ins

  • A pinch of cumin
  • fresh herbs, such as cumin or parsley
  • lime juice for all of some of the citrus


Calories: 48kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 115mg | Potassium: 51mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 7IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 1mg

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