Toum – Garlic Sauce

Toum or Toumya is a garlic sauce as prepared in Syria, the Levant, and Egypt similar to the European aioli. It contains garlic, salt, olive oil or vegetable oil, and lemon juice crushed using a wooden mortar and pestle. There is also a variation popular in many villages, such as Zgharta, where mint is added, called “Zeit and Toum” (oil and garlic).

Toum is used as a dip, especially with French fries and chicken, and in Levantine sandwiches, especially chicken ones.

Toum - Garlic Sauce
This traditional Lebanese dipping sauce really packs a punch and goes perfect with everything from meat to bread. It contains only a handful of ingredients common to every kitchen and is quick and easy to make.
Cuisine: Lebanese
Recipe type: Condiment
Prep time: 
Total time: 
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • ¼ cup of vegetable or olive oil (or less depending on garlic used)
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  1. Start by crushing the garlic cloves until a smooth consistency. Add salt and mix further. Once garlic and salt are of a desired, smooth consistency, gradually add oil.
  2. Add lemon juice and mix. The finished product should be smooth, paste-like, and creamy.
  3. Serve immediately or chill in the refrigerator.
For a truly authentic preparation of Toum, a mortar and pestle is used. If a mortar and pestle are unavailable, ingredients can be blended using a food processor.

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