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Toum - Fast, Easy & Delicious

Toum is a full-bodied, fragrant whipped garlic sauce that adds incredible depth and flavour to virtually any dish. 

It takes 4 ingredients, keeps in the fridge for 4 weeks and you can have it ready in 15 minutes!  

Toum Garlic Sauce in a Jar with Cloves and Radishes

Toum (which is actually the Egyptian word for garlic), is also known as Lebanese garlic sauce – although there might be some dispute about its origins! It’s a rich and creamy condiment originating from the Middle East & Mediterranean regions, and it’s one of those staple home comforts that’s been around for centuries, with good reason. 

Toum is more than ‘just a sauce’, though. It has a characteristic taste that can’t be mimicked, and with its bold flavour and smooth, silky texture, Toum is a perfect complement to a wide variety of dishes, adding a burst of tangy garlic goodness.

This 

Very simply, this delectable sauce is made primarily from garlic, oil, lemon juice, and salt. And if it’s an authentic Lebanese-style condiment you’re after, Toum delivers.

Shut the Door! It Only Takes Four

The enduring appeal of this sauce is its simplicity. Apart from water, it consists of only 4 ingredients! Of course, it’s what you do with those ingredients that makes all the difference. There’s also no exotic or hard to come by ingredients, which is why this is a little staple you can actually put together anytime at short notice – or keep a batch on standby.

Radish Dipped in Whipped Garlic Toum

How To Be a Toum Raider

For a condiment with such a storied history, Toum is far from being limited to a few old recipes. In fact, with its vibrant flavour profile, it’s one of the most versatile sauces you’ll ever make. If it’s traditional Mediterranean or Middle Eastern style you’re after, here are just some options:

  • Shawarma: Toum is a classic accompaniment to Middle Eastern shwarma wraps and sandwiches, adding a zesty kick to the tender, spiced meat.
  • Falafel: Drizzle Toum over crispy falafel for an explosion of flavours that perfectly complement the earthy chickpea patties. 
  • Mezze Platter: Include Toum alongside other Mediterranean mezze favourites like hummus, baba ghanoush, and tabbouleh for a tantalizing overlay of seriously exotic tastes.

Personally, I use Toum for contemporary everyday snacks and meals. Try using it as a spread on sandwiches, or brushed onto your favourite breads or rolls as they come out of the oven. Or dot some onto that fresh pizza just as you pop it in. Toum is also fantastic as a dipping or drizzling sauce alongside grilled or roasted meats and seafood.  

Also, don’t underestimate the magic Toum brings to a crudité selection – especially carrots, radishes, and celery. 

Rate This Quick, Easy & Delicious Toum

Did you have a go at making our Quick, Easy, and Delicious  Toum? Let us know how it went! You’re welcome to leave a comment, give this recipe a rating, and remember to tag your photo #theculinarycartel on Instagram so we can see what you come up with.

Whipped Garlic Dipping Sauce is Perfect for Dipping Chips

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I mellow Toum if the taste is too sharp?

There are a few ways to do this. We’re already mellowing the flavour by adding a neutral-tasting oil (such as vegetable or sunflower oil) and water to the Toum. 

Doing this dilutes the garlic flavour while maintaining the creamy texture of the sauce. Remember to do this gradually while blending until you reach the desired mellowing level.

Are there other ways to mellow Toum?

Absolutely. There are techniques like adding in yoghurt or even mashed potato – but they’re not as simple and I wouldn’t recommend them for the easy version we’re making here. Aging the Toum in your fridge is a simple way to aid in the mellowing process. Simply let the jar sit for 2-3 days tasting as you go until you have the desired results.

How can I fix split Toum (if it separates)?

The key here is to re-emulsify your mixture. In a clean food processor or blender, prepare a new batch of Toum, following the original recipe. Then, once the new batch reaches a thick and creamy consistency, stop the blending process and very slowly incorporate the split Toum until it’s all incorporated and the sauce regains a smooth and creamy consistency.

This process may take a few minutes, so be patient and ensure the blending is thorough.

 Can I make this vegan?

The good news is that it’s 100% gluten-free. It’s also vegan, which makes it a really versatile addition to vegan dishes.

 

Chip Coated in Creamy Garlic Toum
White Garlic Sauce with Chips for a Delicious Snack
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Radish Dipped in Whipped Garlic Toum

Toum – Qucik, Easy & Delicious


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  • Author: Jess Bunn
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Toum is a full-bodied, fragrant whipped garlic sauce that adds incredible depth and flavour to virtually any dish, and will keep in the fridge for 4 weeks.  It takes only 4 ingredients that you probably have on hand – and you can have it ready in 15 minutes!


Ingredients

Units
  • 1 Head garlic
  • Juice of one lemon (45ml)
  • 1/21 tsp flaked sea salt
  • 370ml neutral oil (I use rapeseed oil)
  • 4 Tbsp ice water

Instructions

  1. Begin by peeling the garlic cloves. Cut the cloves in half, then remove the light green germ from the centre. This not only keeps the Toum nice and white, but also prevents it from becoming bitter as the germ can add an unpleasant bitterness.
  2. Prepare some ice water and set it aside.
  3. Place the garlic and salt in a food processor and blend briefly to break down the garlic. Depending on your blender type, this might only require two or three quick pulses. Then, scrape down the sides with a plastic spatula, add the lemon juice and blend again to combine the ingredients.
  4. With the food processor running, slowly pour in the oil. Begin by adding ¼ of the oil, and then add 1 tablespoon of ice water. Gradually continue adding the oil, incorporating 1 tablespoon of ice water with every ¼ cup of oil. If you’re using a micro food processor with a lid, simply remove the lid, add a little oil, and blend in increments, adding oil and iced water as directed above.
  5. Keep adding the oil and ice water until all the oil is used and the garlic sauce has thickened. This process typically takes around 10 minutes, leaving you with a light, whipped consistency.

And… it’s as simple as that!

Let us know how it went!

 

Notes

The Toum can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one month. To extend the shelf life, simply freeze small portions for later use, then defrost in the fridge. Oh – and remember to read the introduction to discover all the amazing ways we love to use Toum.

  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Category: Dips & Sauces

Nutrition

  • Calories: 491.3kcal
  • Sugar: 0.25g
  • Sodium: 382.83mg
  • Fat: 54.53g
  • Saturated Fat: 4.02g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 49.82g
  • Trans Fat: 0.22g
  • Carbohydrates: 2.31g
  • Fiber: 0.14g
  • Protein: 0.37g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg
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