Creamy, fluffy, and loaded with garlic - toum is the flavor bomb missing in your kitchen. Pair this Lebanese garlic dip with grilled chicken, roasted veggies, and one of my favorites: french fries. This recipe comes together in just a few minutes and you don't even need a food processor! What's not to love?!?
Toum is a super popular condiment in Lebanon. The word "toum" actually translates to "garlic" in Arabic, but we also refer to the prepared dip as toum, because, well, it's very garlicky.
In Lebanon, toum is absolutely mandatory with chicken shawarma, shish tawook, grilled chicken, roasted chicken, fried chicken... You get the point. But you really can't go wrong pairing it with just about anything.
Considering what a big part of my life toum is, it really was a no-brainer to make it the first recipe I publish on my blog. And the fact that it's the easiest toum recipe ever and naturally vegan is another plus. So let's make this deliciousness!
It really doesn't get much simpler than this! Salt hardly counts as an ingredient because it is essential to every recipe, so really you're looking at a 3-ingredient flavor packed condiment! All you need is:
- Garlic: the star of the show of course! Fresh garlic is a must - no pre-minced jars of garlic! If you must, you can use peeled garlic cloves - but read your labels and make sure there are no additives and that they are as fresh as possible.
- Oil: use a neutral oil for best results. Avocado, grapeseed, canola, and vegetable oil are all great options and you can even use a combination of them. Do not use olive oil as it has a strong flavor that will be overpowering and take away from the star of this dip. It will also make the toum darker instead of that signature white color.
- Lemon juice: blending the garlic with lemon juice helps to mellow out the strong garlic flavor, and the acidity balances out the flavor.
- Salt: enhances the flavor and also aids in the initial blending of the garlic to form it into a paste.
First, peel enough garlic cloves until you have one heaping cup - this usually takes 3 to 4 whole heads of garlic.
For faster peeling, place the unpeeled cloves on a stable cutting board, then place the blade of a chef's knife flat against the clove, and use the heel of your hand to smash it. This loosens up the skin and it pops right off.
Just make sure to trim the brown stems with a knife before setting the garlic aside.
Next, place the peeled garlic cloves, lemon juice, and salt in the tall, narrow container that comes with your immersion blender.
For less clean up, use a jar that is wide enough to fit the immersion blender and that is large enough to fit all the ingredients - that way you can store the toum in the same jar you made it in.
If you are following this toum recipe without scaling it, a wide mouth one-quart jar is ideal.
Place the immersion blender in the jar and blend the garlic until you have a paste. You'll have to move it around a few times to get it all blended.
Pour the entire amount of oil on top of the garlic paste - do not stir! Before turning on the blender, submerge it to the very bottom of the jar.
Hold the jar with one hand, and turn on the immersion blender while it is at the bottom of the jar.
As it begins to blend, you will notice the bottom becoming white and fluffy. Once you see that, slowly begin raising the immersion blender until the whole mixture becomes white and fluffy.
I told you this is the easiest toum recipe ever!
Tips for making perfect toum
- Remove the germ. This is an optional step, but as garlic ages, it develops a green sprout in the middle which has a bitter taste. Use a paring knife to split the clove down the middle lengthwise and pry the green sprout out with your fingers.
- Be patient. Don't raise the blender too fast - only move up once the section it's in has already emulsified. Once you get to the top, you might see some residual oil. Give the mixture a quick stir, then blend it for another few seconds until it is completely homogenized. The whole process takes just a couple of minutes.
- Use the narrowest container possible. This really helps with the emulsification process because the blender is closely surrounded by all the ingredients.
- Chill the toum overnight. While you can absolutely enjoy the toum as soon as you make it, the flavors really meld and mellow out if you let it chill overnight first.
Frequently asked questions
- How can I make toum thinner/thicker? The recipe below results in a traditional consistency. However, if you would like it thinner, simply blend in a couple tablespoons of cold water at a time until you reach the desired consistency. For thicker toum, add a little more oil and blend well.
- How can I make the garlic flavor less strong? Toum mellows down with time, so you can simply make it in advance and consume it later. But if you'd like to enjoy it immediately and don't want it so potent, you can microwave the peeled garlic cloves for 2-3 minutes before using.
- How long does it last? Longer than it takes you to finish it! Toum keeps really well in the fridge for a couple of months. The garlic flavor mellows out significantly after a couple of weeks, so keep that in mind.
If you’ve tried making this addictive, easy toum recipe or any other recipe on Forks & Foliage, then please don't forget to rate the recipe and leave a comment below! I would be so happy to hear how it turned out for you. And if you took any photos or videos, please share them with me on Instagram @forksandfoliage so I can see the deliciousness you made!
Easiest Toum Ever (Lebanese Garlic Dip)
- 1 cup garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 2 cups neutral oil, such as avocado, canola, or grapeseed
- Peel the garlic cloves and place them in a wide mouth quart jar or similar sized container, then add the salt and lemon juice.
- Using an immersion blender, blend the mixture until it resembles a paste.
- Add all the oil on top of the mixture, then the place immersion blender at the very bottom. Start blending without raising it up. As the mixture emulsifies, gradually raise the blender until the whole mixture is white and fluffy.
- Place a lid on the jar and chill in the fridge, ideally overnight, for best flavor.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and may vary.