I first ate this tahini beet dip at Mamnoon, a delicious, Syrian Lebanese restaurant in Seattle. They called it shamandar bi tahini, which I believe means beets with tahini. I moved away from Seattle in 2017 and have tried to recreate the recipe based on what I remember. I think Mamnoon even stopped making it because it didn’t sell very well, which is a shame. I know some folks don’t like the earthy flavor of beets, but if you’re like me, and you’re are a bottomless container for beets, you’ll love this dip.
Tahini Beet Dip
- 500 grams (1 lb) beets, peeled and cut
- ¼ cup tahini
- ¼ cup plain yogurt
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 large or 2 small garlic cloves
- Peel the beets and cut into 1-inch quarters or chunks, so that they cook faster. Place the beets in a steamer and cook for about 20-30 minutes, until tender. I use one of those simple steamer baskets that you just drop into a pan. Make sure there is always water in the bottom of the pan to prevent burning. Let the beets cool a bit before proceeding to the next step.
- In a food processor, blend all ingredients except the beets until well combined. Then add the cooked beets and blend until incorporated, stopping and scraping the sides a couple of times. I would start with the 1/2 tsp salt recommendation and then at this point add more salt to reach your desired saltiness.
- Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days.
- I steam beets here because it’s the quickest way to cook them. Wrapping beets in foil and roasting them further concentrates their flavor. I’m too impatient to wait one hour for beets to cook just to make a dip… but if you possess the virtue of patience, by all means, roast away!