Incredible Lebanese Garlic Sauce aka Toum Dip

Incredible Lebanese Garlic Sauce aka Toum Dip

Ok, now let’s set things straight, this stuff is potent. I mean ‘brush your teeth eight times and you still have garlic breath’ and ‘garlic is coming out of every pore’ potent. You will be burping garlic for 12 hours and cursing yourself the following morning. But fear less, it tastes SO good you will make this again time after time.

If you haven’t tried Toum before, I’m so sorry you poor thing. Grab yourself these pantry essentials, blend and emulsify then come back and praise me. Lebanese Garlic dip is a gastronomically sensation, and must be experienced by all!

All Lebanese restaurants will serve up their version of fluffy and creamy garlic dip with charcoal chicken or shawarma, along with pink turnip pickles. They also usually sell the stuff on the side for about $5-$8 for a small 100ml pot. Now you can make your own for a fraction of the price, but be warned, it’s truly addictive and you may never be able to eat chicken without it.

I have found through experience there are two ways of making this. Those scared of raw egg can make the first version (however it takes a lot longer and requires a lot of patience) and those who aren’t really concerned about raw egg can make the easier and quicker version that takes less oil

The first version requires a heavy duty food processor. The food processor will be on continuously for ten minutes so please use a good quality processor so that the motor doesn’t burn up. The second variety uses a blender and can be made in 3 flat!

I have also found through experience that Sunflower Oil is by far the best to use for this recipe. Please do not use olive oil. It is too strong and will completely change the taste of the dip. Also, try to buy local garlic, not the Chinese variety. It makes all the difference. Unless of course you live in China and Chinese garlic IS your local…

Incredible Lebanese Garlic Sauce aka Toum Dip

Incredible Lebanese Garlic Sauce aka Toum Dip

Version One: Eggless ‘Food Processor’ Toum:

  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 2 cups Sunflower or any other neutral Oil. Do not use olive oil
  • ½ cup peeled whole garlic cloves
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Put salt and garlic cloves in food processor and pulse. Scrape the sides until all the garlic is the same in size.

Turn on the food processor once again and do not stop it until done. In a very thin stream, add ¼ cup oil very gradually. Please do add it very slowly, don’t rush it or the sauce will split. Once you have added ¼ cup oil, add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice also very slowly, drop by drop. Add another thin stream of ¼ cup oil then 1 teaspoon lemon juice. Keep doing this until you have used up your lemon and oil. The process will take 10 minutes. Be patient. If your sauce has split by the end of it and isn’t a fluffy dip, you can try to add 2 teaspoons of cold water or add 1 icecube and wack on the processor again for a few minutes. If that hasn’t worked, abort mission or *gulp* add a raw egg white and process for another 3 minutes.

Version Two: Quick and Easy ‘Blender’ Toum

  • 5 cloves of garlic, peeled and whole
  • 1 egg white
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons iced water
  • 1 cup of Sunflower or any other neutral oil. Do not use Olive Oil

 Put the garlic cloves and salt along with ¼ of the lemon juice in the blender, and blend on medium, scraping down the sides. Add the egg white. Add ½ cup of oil in a slow and steady pour.

Turn the blender onto its slowest speed and add the rest of the lemon juice slowly then once again add the second half of the oil slowly and steadily.

Finally, add the 2 tablespoons of ice cold water and it’s done.

If the dip has split, try adding another egg white and blitz on high for a couple of minutes.

Slather and spread. Devour. Burp. Regret. Eat some more.

Incredible Lebanese Garlic Sauce aka Toum Dip


70 thoughts on “Incredible Lebanese Garlic Sauce aka Toum Dip

  1. I like your serving suggestions at the end of the recipe! It sounds like a really delicious sauce, but I might leave trying it for a time when I don’t need to leave the house for a good 12 hours…

  2. Yum! I’m a garlic dip addict! There is a Lebanese chicken shop about 20 minutes away from me and they serve the best garlic and pink pickles I have ever had in my life. I’m getting hungry just thinking about this dip!

  3. I love garlic and I can imagine how potent this is. I once saw a naturopath who told me not to buy Chinese garlic or I would ‘glow in the dark’. I’ve been too scared to buy it ever since xx

  4. Lisa, this is wonderful! I love this dip, but you’re right, it’s both addictive and scary! I actually bought a wooden baby mortar and pestle which was supposed to be specifically for making this, but I’ve never used it – I think I’ll try your easy recipe with our garden eggs instead! 🙂

    • oooh I’d love to see your garlic mortar and pestle Celia, have you ever “IMK’d” it before? You know, before the invention of food processors, little old Lebanese women would pound garlic in their M&P for up to 45 minutes to get the creamy consistency! Thank goodness for food processors and blenders!

  5. Lisa as much as I love garlic I can’t stand it when the husband eats it!He begs me to make it for him to eat with bbq’ed chicken, or slathered on Lebanese bread but you’re right…when only one person in the family eats it, it’s horror!!! I can’t breathe! LOL…I’ve split mine that many times that I want to chuck the processor out the window!.A friend suggested that when first grinding the garlic with salt, add 2 tsp of cornflour to give it a fluffy consistency if you’re against using the raw egg…just a thought. I’d better hide this from hubby or else he’ll want some! NOW!

    • oh yes Lina, you’re going to have to eat some too if he’s to eat it, it won’t work if only one person does!!! I’ve never tried the cornflour tip, thanks for sharing! I have to admit, I’ve had mine split a few times but I’ve been able to rescue it with icy cold water. Not sure why, but it does wonders and emulsifies immediately! Try the blender version, I’ve found it to be more reliable 🙂

  6. Looks like I’ll be glowing in the dark!!!! I was expecting yoghurt in the list of ingredients from the first photograph so this is a bit of a surprise. I’ve been through 2 food processors already in the last 10 months because the motors keep burning out on me. Can’t wait til I get home and bring a decent one back with me – no doubt Made in China!!

    • Oh Nancy! I had a good giggle!
      No definitely no yoghurt, that’s ALL garlic. I’m telling you, its so pungent, its scary! Try the blender version Nancy, its definitely easier and only takes about 3 minutes to make 🙂

  7. Got lots of garlic needing to be used before it sprouts. This is definitely going into the machine this weekend! Then I think spread lavishiously over some grilled turkish bread.

  8. I live semi-rurally but have five large supermarkets within a 10 km radius. None of them have even sold Chinese garlic for about 1 1/2 years or so . . . thank God!! Am ‘lucky’: love garlic, use it heaps but get no garlic breath or smell at all! Absolutely adore the dip and do the raw egg version with local organic eggs – I actually use rice bran oil with great success ~ use this for a lot in the kitchen when oilve oil is unsuitable!!

    • You’re very lucky Eha, We have it the other way around. The supermarkets all sell the terrible and bleached Chinese garlic and you have to dig around to find quality Australian grown. I buy mine from our local farmers markets at around $40 per kilo compared to the $5 per kilo for the Chinese. So totally worth it though.
      I’ll give rice bran oil a try next time, I’ve never used it before, thanks for the tip!! x

      • Lisa ~ I am surprised about the garlic ’cause I am talking about Tahmoor Woolworths, Picton Coles etc – all withdrew the white Chinese string bags ages ago! Basically all sell loose Australian and/or Chilean which looks like the ‘good’ Australian! And these are quite ‘ordinary’ s’markets!! Sugar!!!! The rice bran is a bit expensive for large family/parties etc about $5 for small bottle but it has a lovely mouth feel and no real taste of its own . .

  9. Ok, I am interested in Version 2 Lisa, but I need more details. I have a Vitamix which is a pretty heavy duty blender. Should I put it on a pretty low speed before I add the egg white? Then in the second para you say put it on its lowest speed – does it stay at its lowest for the rest of the time? The Vitamix has 10 speeds plus a ” fast as hell”. Are we talking 1 here? Which version tastes better?

    • Mmmm not sure Glenda, I don’t have any experience using a Vitamix. I would go with your suggestion of working it on the slow speed before you add the egg white. I don’t think it matters too much if it’s on the same speed the whole time. Trial and error. Let me know how you go!

  10. This looks like a great and flavour packed recipe. it would kill me unfortunately I cant eat too much garlic but, it must be so good with pickles and with chicken

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  12. I have tried this with Lebanese friends and OMG it is so full on. They laughed at me watching my face as I tried it with Lebanese bread. I’d definitely eat it if suffering from a cold!! Love your last sentence 😉

  13. Lisa, I made your second version and it worked. Bloody potent ….
    I also tried making some using a recipe from one of my cookbooks and I got a nice jar of salty, garlicy oil.

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  17. Hi Lisa,

    Absolutely love Toum, would you happen to know what the Lebanise charcoal chicken places baste their chicken with, i recently moved away from Sydney and now i cant get my fix of that delicious chicken and Toum.

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