Author: Esperance Sammour
Recipe type: Side, Dip
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 15 mins
Total time: 20 mins
Serving size: 2 tspn
This is the All-Famous Lebanese Garlic Sauce – aka toum – Which is Used as a Dip With Chicken Shawarma and Other BBQs.
3 heads of garlic, pealed
4-5 cups of vegetable oil (canola/sunflower/peanut etc…)
1 lemon, freshly juiced
1 teaspoon of salt (or to taste)
- Before you start, ensure that all ingredients are at room temperature for a more reliable outcome. Also if you are using a large food processor make sure you use at least 3 heads of garlic otherwise smaller quantities of garlic may be reached by the blades.
- Add the garlic and salt in the food processor and run for 10-20 seconds.
- Stop processor, scrap garlic down the sides, then run processor again for another 10-20 seconds. Repeat process 3-4 times until garlic starts to turn pasty and looks crushed. This is very important to reach before proceeding.
- At this point, turn the processor back on and keep it on until the end.
- Start adding the oil to the processor at a very slow rate, in a very thin stream, each ½ cup at a time. After adding the first half cup you will start seeing the garlic emulsify and turn into a paste already.
- Add ½ teaspoon of lemon juice very slowly, in a thin stream.
- Wait on it a few seconds until the lemon juice is well absorbed.
- Then go back to repeating the same process of adding slowly ½ cup of oil, waiting a few seconds, then adding ½ teaspoon of lemon juice until you’ve used all ingredients. This process should take 8-10 minutes.
- If at any point you see that the paste is turning liquid, it may be an indication that you’ve added either too much lemon juice, or oil, or you may have added them at a fast rate. In this case your options may be limited especially if the paste completely breaks. Sometimes adding a cube of ice may help.
Don’t use heavy oils like Olive Oil or Avocado Oil or Sesame Seed Oil as they give a strong and bitter taste to the garlic. Use lighter oil such as safflower/sun flower/canola/vegetable oils.
If the resulting garlic paste is too biting/strong, you could either mix it with a mashed medium size baked (or boiled) potatoe, or you can increase the amount of oil.
You could also add a small pinch of citric acid in the beginning with the garlic and salt to make the paste more tangy.