Garlic paste

Toom

This is one of the essential items in Lebanese food. You can make it every couple of weeks and store it in the fridge. Garlic paste or toom is used in a myriad ways:

  • Slather it on pita bread when making sandwiches or falafel or sheesh tawuk
  • Use it as an ingredient for making hummus or baba ghanuj or mtabbal
  • Use it when making dressing for salads or fattoush
  • Use it when making keftas or meatballs
  • Use it in soups, swirled at the last minute
  • Use it as a dip to scoop with toasted pita

Making toomis simple. The only task requiring some time is peeling the garlic cloves. I sit in front of the TV and do it! Grab a couple of bowls, one for the peels and one for the cloves.

INGREDIENTS

2 heads of garlic, cloves peeled and chopped in half.

2 tablespoons of lemon juice.

2  teaspoons  of salt or to taste

3/4 cup vegetable oil.

Optional: 1 small baked potato or 2 slices of white bread or 1/4 cup of mayo or drained plain yogurt.

METHOD

Dump the cloves, salt, lemon juice in a mini food processor (or blender). Whirl for a couple minutes then add droplets of oil with the machine running. Continue until the mixture emulsifies. At this point, you can add and process any of the following: potato (cooked) or bread (american-style, crust removed), or mayo (from a jar) or drained yogurt . This last step is for the purpose of thickening the toom and dulling the sharpness of the garlic taste. I like it with the pure and pungent taste of garlic and also because I use it throughout the week, making salad dressing, or slathered on bread, or added to pasta sauce or in soups or stews or steamed vegetables for a little zing!

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12 Comments

  1. Posted September 25, 2009 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    I am a big fan of thom … thou my husband does not seem to like my garlic breathe LOL! But never knew how to make it … too easy not to try! Thanks! I was missing thom so much!

  2. Joumana
    Posted September 25, 2009 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    I am a big fan of it too! I have to warn you: this one is extra strong! If you like , try it with half the quantity of garlic first!

  3. Fina Azouz
    Posted May 28, 2010 at 4:57 am | Permalink

    What a great idea this lebanese pesto, I just made it, its delicious , how practical to use it since most of my recipes require garlic, First time reading your blog, Thanks.
    Fina

  4. Posted March 11, 2011 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Moi qui ADORE l’ ail (et en plus c’ est bon pour la santé) je vais tester cette ” pâte d’ ail “, merci de ces toutes nouvelles et bonnes recettes

  5. muzammil
    Posted February 3, 2012 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    my mom is always trying to make this.she will glad to see this.wow!

  6. Vanita
    Posted August 17, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    Another coincidence?
    In sindhi we call garlic as thoom.
    I tend to make bottles of garlic and red chilli paste blended with salt and vinegar
    and freeze.
    I use it for thai/chinese/indian cooking.

  7. Joumana
    Posted August 17, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    @Vanita: Great idea! You should start a blog!

  8. Vanita
    Posted August 17, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Joumana for your prompt response.
    My daughter tells me the same thing.
    I have to start measuring my ingredients every time i cook
    to start the blog.I am so used to cooking by handfuls and approximates
    that i have to really get down to doing things by measurement :)

  9. Joumana
    Posted August 17, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    @Vanita: that’s fine, you’ll get the hang of it; it is nice also for your daughter to have mom’s recipes in an official venue for the world to see and enjoy as well as for her as a keepsake of your creations and hours of hard work in the kitchen for the benefit of the family!

  10. Nannera Murian
    Posted April 27, 2013 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    I had a few pounds of garlic is grew last year and stored over winter. Some if was starting to sprout, so I thought it would be a good time to take inventory. I sorted all the good and bad cloves, then kept 15 of the largest cloves for planting. I peeled and placed the gloves in a baking dish and covered it with olive oil and a bit of salt, then baked if for an hour in the oven at 350. Then I blended the cloves and oil, not too successfully so I separated the paste from the olive oil. Now I have a batch of garlic oil and garlic paste! Yum!!

  11. Joumana
    Posted April 28, 2013 at 12:32 am | Permalink

    @Nannera Murian: I have been experimenting with different techniques here as well. Have you tried the one with egg white? I posted it in the blog as well.

  12. Rania
    Posted July 28, 2013 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    I think you made a mistake .3 teaspoons of salt way to much. I did that and the salt was overpowering the garlic .. Yes! That bad

One Trackback

  1. [...] because of the oil & acid amalgamation.Jouyhana of Taste of Beirut suggests using Thoum as:Slather it on pita bread when making sandwiches or falafel or sheeshtawukUse it as a dip to scoop with toasted pitaUse it as an ingredient for making hummus or baba ghanuj [...]

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