Potato with tahini sauce (Batata bel-tarator)

August 7, 2010  •  Category:


One of the lesser known advantages of residing in Lebanon is the fact that there is a plethora of world-class entertainment available for a fraction of the cost of similar venues in  Paris or New York City. Last night,  in the BeitEddine Palace’s courtyard, under a pitch-black starry sky (with the occasional bats darting about), we enjoyed  virtuosity, haunting voices and hypnotic melodies of  the Mohammad Reza Shajarian & Shahnaz traditional Persian ensemble; in previous years, we had enjoyed Andrea Bocelli, Elton John, Shakira, Mariah Carey and countless others.

Music is wonderful but less lofty  needs have to be taken into account too.

This potato dish is my take on a classic  in the Lebanese kitchen, which consists of combining  bland vegetables with a spiced-up tahini sauce, known as tarator; I just mashed the potatoes instead of slicing them, a lot more fun to eat!


  • 1 or more starchy potatoes
  • 1/2 cup (or more, to taste) tahini paste
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 2 cloves of garlic, mashed with a dash of salt in a mortar
  • sumac, to sprinkle on top (optional)


  1. Bake the potatoes till thoroughly done; in the meantime, prepare the tarator sauce:
  2. Mash the garlic with a bit of salt; in a bowl, squeeze the lemon juice; add the garlic, whisking, then add the tahini: the tahini will curdle; add some water while whisking until smooth.
  3. When the potatoes are ready, split in half, and scrape the flesh out; mix with the sauce until smooth; scoop back up in the potatoes, sprinkle with sumac and serve.


29 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Angie's Recipes says:

    I bet this mashed potato dish must have tasted wonderfully with tahini sauce!!

  2. elra says:

    Yummy tahini combine with potato, not your average boiled potato 🙂

  3. Rosa says:

    A perfect combination! Two of my favorite ingredients. That is a such an appealing dish!



  4. Kerstin says:

    I really like tahini – what a fabulous way to elevate a regular baked potato!

  5. OysterCulture says:

    This is genius, I cannot wait to spring this one on my husband – I love this combination! Brilliant idea and thanks for sharing.

  6. Astra Libris says:

    This is such a brilliant combination!! Thank you for the awesome recipe – I know this will become a favorite in our house!

  7. SYLVIA says:

    Potato beggs for a steak, by adding tarator to the potato, the whole universe makes sense, this is real classic Lebanese sauce that’s absolutely delicious., I like the garnishes the sumac is like the potatoe’s eyeliner. Thank you Joumana, I am ready for chow.
    BTW potatoes have a lot of nutrients, and can be a valuable part of our dieting regime.

  8. fimère says:

    belle combinaison avec le tahini ça doit être délicieux
    tu as un joli balcon
    bonne soirée

  9. Julia @ Mélanger says:

    I adore potato in all forms, and combined with tahini would be amazing. I so must try this. Speaking of tahini, I was actually just reading a recipe for Beirut tahini swirls in a baking book on my shelf. Was thinking of giving that a whirl! Seems tahini is very versatile?

  10. joudie kalla says:

    Joumana, you have my 3 favourite ingrediants in one dish. Potatoes, Tahini, and Garlic. Yumm. This looks so tasty. What a great idea.

  11. Azita says:

    This is a wonderful variation to the traditional baked potato. Looks so creamy and delicious!
    I’m so happy that you enjoyed the music of Shajarian and his group in Lebanon. I absolutely adore him and all of his songs.:)

  12. Joan Nova says:

    what a great idea to include the flavor and creaminess of tahini to the potato mash

  13. Devaki says:

    So lovely Joumana – this talent you have of taking a handful of ingredients and turning them into stellar culinary creations. I love your food and it is as simple as that 🙂

    Ciao, Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

  14. OysterCulture says:

    I showed this post to my husband and he gasped and said we had to have it tonight. We did, and now he demands (very nicely of course) that I add it to his birthday menu for next week, up there with his chicken adobo. Its a new favorite in this house. Thanks so much for sharing.

    Oh, I tweaked it a bit. Did not fill the potato, but made it in to a batch of mashed potatoes as I could only find the small ones.

  15. Amy @ cookbookmaniac says:

    This looks like a lovely spin on the ordinary mash potatoes. I love tahini!

  16. pierre says:

    ouh que j’ai envie de mordre dans cette patate !! Pierre

  17. Nadji says:

    J’ai tout dans ma cuisine. Je peux réaliser cette recette facilement.
    Bon dimanche et à bientôt.

  18. Joanne says:

    Music just speaks to me. I love any and all of it.

    Tahini speaks to me as well. And it is now telling me to make this potato.

  19. gastrogeek says:

    What a delicious recipe, a real must try. We have a dish called “aloo bortha” in Bangladesh which is basically mashed potatoes with mustard oil, roasted cumin, salt, coriander and chilli.

  20. Stella says:

    Nice! This is an awesome vegetarian/vegan dish, Joumana. I’m trying this once the potatoes look half decent around here (smile)!

  21. Faith says:

    Another lovely use for tahini! I bet it gives the potato great flavor! I love that balcony picture — absolutely lovely!

  22. Jen_from_NJ says:

    I love tahini sauce and can’t wait to try it with potato. Great idea!

  23. Magdalena says:

    I like tahini a lot, and I love potatoes. It is a great proposition !

  24. grace says:

    i love this use for tahini! heaven forbid that lovely ingredient be limited to hummus and hummus alone!

  25. Doc says:

    Brilliant! I love it! You have given me a whole new set of crazy ideas to spice up those bland veggie purees on the plate.

  26. Pauline says:

    This sauce will also be lovely served with new potatoes, which is what I have at the moment.

  27. TastyTrix says:

    That sounds like a perfect evening (well, not so much the time with Shakira). I am a sucker for a mashed potato, I love the variation.

  28. Adelina says:

    My husband will be a fan of this recipe. He’s a big fan of tahini. All I need to add for him is cumin and he will be in heaven. Thank you for this recipe.

  29. Mimi says:

    Great new way to eat potatoes.

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