Toum (Garlic Sauce)

Toum is served at every Lebanese restaurant. It’s that delicious sauce that makes grilled meat dishes like Shish Tawook even more delicious. It’s also the sauce that people dunk their french fries into and it’s just so YUM! For my daughter’s birthday I decided to make a arabic feast and so garlic paste had to be made to accompany a few things and it was also an integral part of the chicken shawarmas that I was making. I found a place here in Wellington, NZ that sells garlic paste in a jar but it just wasn’t hitting the mark – there was something about the flavour that wasn’t screaming arabic … I then thought I should make it and I did and I am never going back!

Toum literally means garlic in arabic and this creamy white sauce is traditionally made by pounding the garlic cloves with a mortar and pestle. I have done that in the past but with the invention of something like a food processor, I have switched to the easier mode and you have this delicious sauce done in probably 3 minutes. The next time you have a bbq and are grilling some meat or veg, make some of this to go alongside with the dips.

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • Cuisine: arabic
  • Course: condiments
  • Preparation Time: 10 minutes mins


3 heads of peeled garlic
4 – 5 cups of vegetable oil
1 Juice of lemon
1 teaspoon of salt (or to taste)


  1. In your food processor add the garlic and salt and process it to an almost paste like consistency. I ran it in 10-20 seconds intervals.
  2. After which I slowly added in the oil. I have mentioned veg oil so something like sunflower or canola oil. Olive oil is not a good idea! It just adds a strong flavour and will go all bitter. I added the oil 1/2 cup at a time.
  3. Similarly I slowly poured the lemon juice in the food processor
  4. You will be amazed to see how quick and easily this beautiful sauce can be made! If you think the garlic is really overpowering add a bit more oil.


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