Toom (Garlic Sauce)

Ah, the beloved Middle Eastern dipping sauce. Depending on your tastes, the thought of it will make you shiver with delight or fear. For our good friend Hassan, just mentioning toom brings a smile to his face. For many others, the world is painted in colors of nostalgia.

Can good toom be found in the United States? That’s up for debate, but mine (my aunt’s recipe) seems to pass the test for both my dad and Hassan. If you’ve never tried this before, I strongly encourage it. Especially if you intend to rotisserie a chicken any time soon. It’s an amazing accompaniment, although it does take a few bites for the magic to happen.


6 cloves garlic
2 tbsp plain yogurt or mayonnaise
1 tsp salt
1 medium Russet potato, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 cup vegetable oil for frying


Heat oil in shallow pan. Make sure the heat is low. You’ll know the oil is ready when you splash a drop of water in the pan and it spits back at you. BE CAREFUL when you do this. Drop in potato slices and cook until potatoes turn golden on the outside but are only half done. I suggest 2 minutes maximum, but frying is different in everyone’s kitchen. I will say not to crowd the pan and to use some type of splatter shield.

Remove potatoes from oil and allow to drain on paper towels. Once drained, place them in the food processor with remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth, scraping down the sides once or twice. This won’t take long.

The mixture should be thick from the potatoes. Taste and add more salt if necessary. Hhhhhappy eating. πŸ™‚

[Photo Credit]

Shawna Ayoub

Shawna Ayoub is an essayist, fiction writer, poet and instructor with an MFA in creative writing from Indiana University. Some of her work has been published in The Manifest-Station, Role Reboot, [wherever], The Huffington Post, The Oxford Review and Exit 7. Her writing explores the intersections of race, place and survivorship. She writes with honesty about her own experience in order to transform pain.

9 Discussion to this post

  1. Thank you so much for your recipes. I love 'em.
    I just have a question, I tried the garlic sause at a lebanese and turkish resturants and both were similar but I dont think it had potato. Even though it was thick. Can I make it without potato?
    I have been trying to get the recipe and finally found this here so Im wondering does it have potato? Anyhow I will be following your recipe for lunch and hopefully I can get to what I have been looking for!
    Thanks again. Shokran w yeslamo hal edain πŸ™‚

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  2. This sounds delicious. Will have to try it some time.

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  3. Norah says:

    Sounds delicious. Thanks for sharing. πŸ™‚

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  4. My recipe is a little different! But yum!

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