Tahini & Cherry Coleslaw

Here’s a creamy Persian coleslaw made with tahini rather than yoghurt or mayonnaise and sweetened with dried cherries. Topped with delicious crunchy pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds, and flavoured with sumac and cumin, this is an amazing side dish to serve at barbeques or with roast lamb, chicken or duck. I often make it alongside a cauliflower tabouleh for a full Persian feast.

It’s a brilliant salad for those needing to follow a dairy-free diet, as the tahini is rich in calcium. Cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable that is important for both liver and hormone health.

For adult and older kids’ lunch boxes, it’s great as it lasts for a few days in the fridge and doesn’t go soggy! This is a recipe you will whip up on repeat for you and your family.

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Tahini & Cherry Coleslaw

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Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Salads, Side Dishes
Servings 8 people
Suitable for Special Diet (or adaptable) Dairy-free, Egg-free, Gluten-free, Nut-free, Vegan, Vegetarian




  • Take off the outer leaves of the cabbage and slice or mandolin the rest as thin and fine as you can.
  • Peel the carrots and grate on a coarse setting, this can be by hand or using a food processor.
  • Mix the cabbage, carrots, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, cherries and cumin seeds together in a large bowl.
  • In a blender (I use a stick blender), blend up the sesame oil, tahini and sumac powder for a minute so it becomes whipped. Then add in the lemon zest and juice followed by the maple syrup and blend for a few seconds. Add a pinch of salt to taste as an extra option.
  • Finally, start adding the water to the dressing, a little at a time and blending each time. You are aiming for a nice thick and creamy dressing that can just pour. You may need slightly more or less water depending on how oily your tahini is and how juicy your lemons are.
  • Combine the dry ingredients with the dressing to make the coleslaw and serve in a pretty bowl.


  • You can switch the cherries for dried cranberries, dried apricots, or raisins/sultanas or even use fresh pomegranate seeds.
  • The dressing can be used for all sorts of crunchy salads – using broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage or carrot.
  • Sesame-free: switch tahini for cashew nut butter and the sesame oil for olive oil or avocado oil.
  • If you need this to be nut-free, then use half yoghurt/half mayonnaise instead of the tahini and oil
  • This coleslaw keeps in the fridge for up to 3 days.
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