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Toum (Lebanese/Mediterranean Garlic Sauce)

The only requirement for this dip? You must love garlic.

(just don’t go kissing anyone after).

This toum recipe is a bold, creamy garlic sauce and dip. It’s often served in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern restaurants, but it’s quite easy to make at home with a little help from a food processor.

You’ll find it is very similar aioli or mayonnaise, but made without eggs. It tastes great on grilled meats, falafel, kebabs, breads and vegetables. Anything that requires a garlicky accompaniment works well.

However, if you like your flavours to be subtle, this dip probably isn’t for you — toum is very strong and intense.

Is it Healthy?

Let’s talk about garlic. Because there’s a lot in this dip.

Garlic is low in calories and rich in vitamin C, vitamin B6 and manganese.

There are also studies that show garlic supplements reducing blood pressure — mainly through its ability to widen blood vessels (123). Other studies also show that garlic helps lower total and LDL cholesterol by about 10-15% (456).

Preparation Tips

Gradually add the oil and lemon juice. Toum is made though the process of emulsification – gradually adding the oil and lemon juice into the blender. It’s important to add these slowly to give the oil enough time to blend into the garlic. You can’t really rush the process.

Use a neutral oil (not olive oil). Olive oil has a distinctive taste – try using more neutral oils like safflower and canola oil instead.

Scrape the sides. Once you start the food processor, after a few seconds, turn it off and scrape the sides to crush everything as fine as possible before starting it up again.


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Prep Time 15 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Servings 12
Calories 259 kcal


  • 48 garlic cloves
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 330 g neutral oil (e.g canola/safflower)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp cold water


  • In a food processor, add the garlic cloves and salt and process until as smooth as possible, scraping down the sides as needed. Add lemon juice and process again until incorporated
  • With the motor running, slowly pour in ½ cup of oil. Pour in 1 tablespoon of water. Turn off and scrape down the sides. Repeat this until all of the oil and water are used. The result should be a light fluffy, spreadable condiment.


Serving: 2gSodium: 390mgCalories: 259kcalSaturated Fat: 2gFat: 27gProtein: 1gCarbohydrates: 4g
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