Three Variations of Lime Tahini-Based Sauces or Dressings

Three jars of lime-based tahini sauces: lime cilanto, ginger lime and spicy lime. Scene decorated with cut limes and scarf
Front to Back: Lime Cilantro, Lime Ginger and Spicy Lime

Tahini, the paste of crushed sesame seeds, is rich in nutrients, protein and healthy fats and it continues to be one of my most used and versatile ingredients. As well as adding protein and nutrients to a meal, the earthy flavour of tahini lends itself to both sweet and savory dishes making it an easy addition to sauces, dips, dressing or desserts.

As tahini is high in protein but relatively low in saturated fats, I tend to use it mostly to enhance the flavour and nutrition of a simple salad or a meal of roasted vegetables. A different flavoured tahini sauce can transform a dish into a completely different meal. One of the most popular and simplest sauces to make is lemon tahini which creates a deliciously rich, creamy, nutty, and tangy sauce which goes with many dishes.

black plate with cilanto and whole and cut limes

What’s in a lime?

As I use the lemon tahini sauce so frequently, I started looking for variations and discovered a tasty selection of lime-based tahini sauces. Similar to lemons, limes also add additional flavours and health benefits to a meal. Limes are high in vitamin C and antioxidants and may help improve immunity, reduce heart disease risk factors, prevent kidney stones, aid iron absorption, promote healthy skin, and lower the risk of certain cancers.

Arial view of Three jars of lime-based tahini sauces: lime cilanto, ginger lime and spicy lime.
From Left to Right: Lime Cilantro, Lime Ginger and Spicy Lime

Origin of limes

Native to southeast Asia and Malaysia, limes tend to thrive in a more tropical climate compared with the lemon. In an article, The History of Limes, Sara Kirchheimer refers to the cultivation of citrus fruits radiating from India but because of similar names for different citrus, it is challenging to trace the history of the lime separately. Kirchheimer tells of recent studies which place the origin of true limes at Malaysia, about 1,500 miles east of Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka is a country that has great historical records and a rich culture dating back thousands of years. In the spirit of traditional beliefs, customs and stories of a community passed through generations, Kirchheimer tells of  ancient folklore among the Sinhala of the island of Sri Lanka which talks of β€œhow limes originated during a fight between two cobra gods. Their fangs became the lime seeds and their poison became the acidic juice.”

Three jars of lime-based tahini sauces: lime cilanto, ginger lime and spicy lime.
From Top Left to Right: Lime Ginger, Spicy Lime and Lime Cilantro

Recipes for Lime Tahini-Based Sauces or Dressings

The three variations of lime tahini-based sauces include a mild, fresh lime cilantro, an earthy, pungent lime ginger, or if your prefer something with a bit of a bite, a spicy lime. Any of these sauces can be drizzled on a dish to add a refreshing zing to any meal. For each of the sauces, add water to obtain the desired consistency.

Lime Ginger Tahini

  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 3 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1″ ginger root
  • 1 tbsp tamari
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup water to thin as needed
black plate with cilanto and whole and cut limes

Lime Cilantro

  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 2/3 cup fresh cilantro
  • 4 tbsp lime juice
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • lime zest
  • 1/3 cup water to thin as needed

Spicy Lime Tahini

  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 3 tbsp lime juice
  • 1″ ginger root
  • 1/2 tbsp tamari
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tbsp sirracha sauce (or to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • lime zest
  • 1/4 water to thin as needed
Close up of three jars of lime-based tahini sauces: lime cilanto, ginger lime and spicy lime.
From Front to Back: Lime Cilantro, Lime Ginger and Spicy Lime

Instructions for all three sauces or dressings:

  1. Using a blender mix all ingredients except the water.
  2. Add the water until reach the desired consistency.
  3. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


While most forms of tahini sauce are gluten-free, sometimes gluten can be added to store-bought tahini as a thickener. If gluten is an issue, be sure to check all store bought brands for gluten, or alternatively here is a recipe to make your own tahini!

Three jars of lime-based tahini sauces: lime cilanto, ginger lime and spicy lime.
From Left to Right: Lime Cilantro, Lime Ginger and Spicy Lime

Closing Thoughts

I have always been fascinated by folklore, especially relating to food, and it usually offers insight into ancient beliefs, traditions and even rituals.  These tales are often considered the truth, not because the events actually occurred, but because there is usually a bit of wisdom that can be gleaned from the story. In a way it can turn something ordinary into something extraordinary.

In the same way, a zesty and tangy lime sauce can put a refreshing twist to an ordinary meal. With a growing appreciation for the juice and the floral aroma of the zest, limes have started to feature more regularly in my meal preparation. When cooking for small households and needing to use up a bag of vegetables or if there is limited choice when trying to use local or in-season vegetables, why not try one of these creamy and refreshing citrus sauces to add a new and interesting flavour?

dragon icon

Other Tahini Sauces and Dressings:


  1. Carly |

    Where do you get low-calorie tahini? ?

    • Probably a better way to describe it would be low in saturated fats πŸ™‚ Some store bought tahini can have added oils compared with home made, which is just ground sesame seeds, and this can affect the calorie content.

  2. Nice recipe. Thanks. And have a safe and happy 2021.

  3. Hi there! We want to let you know that we’ve nominated you for Sunshine Blogger Award. Check out the nomination here:

  4. These all look delicious! Can’t wait to try them! We eat at a restaurant called CAVA frequently that has tahini dressings, so I’m really happy to have some recipes to follow to make my own!

  5. My gosh! lime tahini sounds wonderfully delicious! I swear, I am going to try this. I already have tahini, all I need is fresh limes from the grocery store πŸ™‚
    Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe.

  6. Oh woww, never created flavored ones. How wonderful

  7. Wow these look so healthy and delicious!

  8. Much needed recipies.. thanks for sharing… would love to try tahini at home. Store bought ones may have unwanted salts and oils, so better to prepare at home. How many days we can store this tahani in refrigerator? Please let me know.

    • Thanks and yes, some brands of store bought tahini can contain additional oil, salt and other ingredients. The home-made tahini is so easy to make and then you know exactly what is in it. Although homemade tahini has no preservatives and tends to have a shorter shelf life, it can last up to 6 months when you store it in an airtight container in the fridge. Hope this helps and let me know if you try it out!

      • Thanks alot for explaining ? sure.. will try and let you know how it turned out. I love to prepare salads… variation in dressings may bring more colours to my salads..!

  9. Drizzling Delicacies

    These are such great variations of Tahini. πŸ™‚

Leave a Reply to Carly | Cancel

Your email address will not be published.