What you are about to read is a breakthrough in the toum making process. I have unlocked the secret to easy, fast and perfect toum. Since I’ve decided to share this invention, I have a feeling the world will owe me something good in return, apart from immortalising me in the memory of future generations. If you don’t know what toum is, you haven’t lived, but it’s not too late. Read my first toum recipe for background information about this amazing dip and then head to the first Lebanese charcoal chicken place you can find.
Now, you may have heard me make this claim before: the best toum (Lebanese garlic sauce) ever. And I still stand by it. But hear me out. My first toum recipe is undeniably a success story, having made possible what most of you thought was impossible: home-made Lebanese garlic sauce as good as any restaurant’s toum, made by a fail-safe recipe that needed only oil, garlic, lemon juice and salt. But I needed an alternative, and after months of pondering, I have actually found the answer.
Why a second toum recipe?
But, why do we need a second toum recipe, you ask. Well. Good question. There are three issues that I have with my first recipe:
It takes so bloody long. Ten minutes of whizzing and adding thin streams of oil interchanged with lemon juice took so much discipline and concentration. It was all a bit too hard
A good food processor costs an arm and a leg (and the occasional finger), and many of my readers don’t have one
It produced such large volumes of toum that unless you had your 25 cousins come around for a bbq, you’d need to be eating it for breakfast, lunch and dinner for 2 weeks straight to get through it all
What does the new approach give us?
So, with my new recipe, here are the technological advances I have been able to achieve:
I have been able to reduce the necessary amount of oil required to make toum to 1 cup instead of 4 cups
By using a blender (which is usually more readily available at homes) a food processor is no longer necessary
Toum preparation time has been reduced to a maximum of 3 minutes, and the process happens without continuously worrying about using thin streams of oil as it can handle a much more heavy handed approach
That’s all good and well, but how does the magic work?
Well, inspiration came late last night, when I saw someone making mayonnaise using a food processor. I had thought that by now, people should know that a blender is a much easier option for mayonnaise (see here). I have been able to make mayonnaise in 1 minute flat. The blades actually create a sort of suction that uses gravity to its advantage and makes the emulsification process much more simple. I decided to use a blender, and an egg white (which is used by almost all Lebanese restaurants) to bind the oil to the garlic and lemon juice. The result is amazing, creamy, light, easy, and fail-safe Lebanese garlic sauce. Let the world know and share the love!
Fast and Easy Toum Recipe (Lebanese Garlic Sauce)
5 cloves of garlic
1 egg white
Juice of 1 lemon
A good pinch of salt
1 cup of iced water of which you will use around 2 tbsp
1 cup of neutral oil, canola or vegetable oil (Edit: Since this recipe was published, I’ve come to understand that seed and commercial vegetable oils are highly inflammatory and largely contribute to heart disease and diabetes. I suggest using oils low in Omega 6 and high in monounsaturated fats. As neutral oils go, a high oleic sunflower such as this one would be a good option.)
Put the garlic cloves along with salt and 1/4 of the lemon juice in the blender
Blend on medium and scrape the sides down when the garlic goes flying everywhere
Add the egg white and blend on medium
Add half the oil in bit by bit. A thin stream is not necessary, but don’t go crazy. A reasonable, fine, steady pour is good
At this stage, the emulsification should have taken place. If it hasn’t and the sauce looks like it has split, then something has gone wrong. You may need to remove half the amount, add another egg white, whizz away and re-pour what had already split. But if you take it slow without pouring the oil too quickly, it should be fine
Switch to a slow blend, and add the rest of the lemon juice in slowly too
Add the rest of the oil in the same fashion
Add 1 or 2 tbsp of water. You will see the consistency change into something wonderfully creamy and light. Water seems to do wonders for the texture, I’m not sure why
Taste it, praise the Lord, and write back and tell me how amazing I am