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Toum (Garlic Sauce)

This creamy garlic sauce and dip (also known as toum, a traditional Lebanese dip), goes perfectly with grilled meats and chicken or as an egg-free alternative to mayonnaise. With just garlic cloves, lemon and oil, you can transform garlic into a fluffy taste of paradise. One important note to consider is the oil that you use. Many people prefer a neutral oil like canola or sunflower, which makes the garlic whiter and more fluffy. However, there are many that prefer the more traditional, bitter and strong flavor of using olive oil. The choice is yours so experiment and see what you prefer!
Toum (Garlic Sauce)

This recipe gives directions for making toum with either a food processor or a mortar and pestle

Total Time: 20 minutes

Serves :Makes 1 quart


  • 3 heads of garlic
  • 4-5 cups of oil, (your choice of canola, sunflower, extra virgin olive oil)
  • 1-2 freshly squeezed lemons (4-6 tablespoons of lemon juice)
  • 1 teaspoon of salt


  1. Food Processor
  2. Mortar and Pestles
  3. Rubber spatula



NOTE: If using fresh young garlic, skip this step. However, if it is an older garlic, then use a knife to split each garlic clove in half and remove the green germ from the middle with the tip of your knife. The reason for this is that this germ makes the garlic incredibly harsh and acrid, ruining the toum.


Food Processor Method

  1. Place the garlic and salt in the food processor for a couple of minutes until it becomes crushed thoroughly. Occasionally scrape down the sides of the bowl with a flexible rubber spatula during this time as it is important that the garlic is thoroughly crushed.
  2. Keep the food processor running and now start very slowly drizzling in 1/4 cup oil, and then very slowly 1 teaspoon of lemon juice. Wait for the garlic to start becoming a paste.
  3. Repeat with another 1/2 cup oil and then another 1 teaspoon of lemon juice. Continue the process, until you have no more oil and lemon left.


Mortar and Pestle Method

Follow the same process as per the food processor method while grinding, but as a mortar and pestle is smaller than a food processor, you would have to make the recipe in a smaller batch, by halving or quartering the amount of ingredient needed.

Once the garlic has set to your desired consistency transfer into a tight container, and store in your fridge for up to a month.


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