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Lebanese Toum Recipe

Toum is a traditional Lebanese garlic dipping sauce goes perfect with everything from meat to bread. Next time you are looking for a unique dip that can be served with a variety of foods, Toum is the best dip to try!

3-4 cloves of garlic
¼ cup of vegetable or olive oil (or less depending on garlic used)
1 lemon, juiced
¼ teaspoon salt

The garlic cloves are smashed using a wooden pestle, mixed with salt. Salt could be added just at the beginning or after the garlic cloves are well smashed. When the garlic becomes very smooth, olive oil is added gradually and mixed. The mixing is done by stirring the whole in the pestle. One should keep stirring until the whole is very viscous. The olive oil will be sucked by the garlic. Oil is added again, and again stirring until oil disappears. Little by little oil is added and stirred and this way the volume of the sauce grows and its taste gets sweeter. At a certain point lemon juice is added and mixed again until you get the sauce you see in the picture.

One thing to pay attention to, is not to add too much oil on one single time. Oil should be added gradually. The sauce should stick together and stay as viscous as possible. At a certain point one may notice that it's impossible to add more oil without the sauce falling apart. At that moment one can add a little lemon juice, stir for a while, and then continue adding oil and stirring. This makes the sauce stick together.

Do not stop for a long period time between mixing the Oil and the Lemon. While adding the oil it is necessary to keep stirring, stopping only for very brief periods.

The pestle used to prepare the Toum is usually wooden, some new one are made out of synthetic materials, like plastic; occasionally it is carved in stone. Stone carved pestles are usually used for Kibbe Nayeh.

The method described above is the most genuine way, this is how it's done in most parts of Lebanon.

Tip: If a mortar and pestle are unavailable, ingredients can be blended using a food processor.

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