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A couple of weeks ago I ate at Mediterranean Cruise Cafe in Minneapolis. The highlight of the evening was a garlic spread. At first we thought it was butter--that's how creamy the stuff was. We didn't realize there was garlic in it until much later--the garlic flavour was very subtle but after an hour or two, it hit us like a brick! The waiter said it was just garlic and lemon juice but I think there may have been more to it than that. He called it tomi or tomeh (I can't remember now). He also said the owners were Palestinian--is this garlic spread specific to Palestine or is it served elsewhere in the region?

We did buy some garlic spread from Holy Land Deli, thinking it was the same, but it's a bit different. The garlic flavour is much more pronounced (much more!) and the consistency is more sauce-like than butter-like. The ingredients list garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice.

So, my questions:

1) How do you make this spread from heaven?

2) What to you serve it with? I just eat it with some Ryvita crackers, but is it usually used with meat? Fish?

I did do a google search but found nothing close. My search parameters might not be so good, though.

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This sounds a *lot* like what I know as thomeyya, or domeyya, or dumeya (it's a real problem writing Arabic words in English). Anyway, the stuff is terrific - although the version I know is extremely garlicky, so it must be a slightly different version than yours. I wish I could tell you I have the answer, but my efforts - based on recipes from various cookbooks and internet searches - don't come close to reproducing the recipe I'm after. I'm ending up with a lot of odd salad dressings because I can't bear to throw the stuff out. Garlic, salt, lemon juice and oil figure in all the recipes, and the rest is either mayonnaise or yogurt to thicken it - or neither - but in any case there isn't enough mayonnaise to turn it into aioli. The basic steps, in case you want to experiment, seem to be to whirl the garlic, salt and lemon juice into a paste, then start blending in oil, then blend in the thickener if you're going to try one. I'm even wondering about egg whites.

I will certainly post back if I succeed in reproducing the version I'm after. In the meantime, keep googling around for "garlic dip" or "dhumeyya" or...well, you have to be creative with the spelling...


Edited by Smithy (log)

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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I just spoke with a co-worker who is half-Lebanese. He is going to ask his mother for a recipe.

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What you had is garlic sauce (Toom or Thoom in Arabic means garlic, Toomieh might mean garlic sauce). anyways here are my thoughts on this ubiquitous middle-eastern sauce taken from my presentation on Lebanese Cuisine:

Garlic Sauce

Garlic sauce is normally used with grilled chicken, whether chicken kebabs or chicken pieces (Djaj Mashwi). If you are a garlic-lover, this sauce will go great with anything. When a Lebanese family makes grilled chicken, the garlic sauce is used both as a marinade and as a dipping sauce for the cooked chicken. The sauce that many people in the US are familiar with is the white-mayo-like garlic sauce used in chicken sandwiches or as a dollop on the side of the plate. Indeed this white sauce is the restaurant type garlic sauce and you would be hard-pressed to find it in any Lebanese home. You would however find it in Lebanese restaurants and Shawarma vendors.

Homemade Garlic Sauce:

This is the easiest of the two. Mash up as much garlic as you want, preferably in a mortar and pestle (or you can use a food processor), then mix it in with enough extra virgin olive oil to make a loose paste. Add lemon juice to taste and season with salt.

Restaurant (white) garlic sauce:

For this one you need to use a food processor or a blender.

• ½ cup peeled garlic

• 1 Tbsp Mayonaise (optional)

• ¼ - 1/3 cup Vegetable Oil

• Lemon juice to taste

• Salt

Process the garlic with the mayonnaise, if using (most restaurants use it but I do not like it too much) to a very fine paste. With the motor running slowly, add vegetable oil till you get the desired mayo-like consistency. Add Lemon juice and salt to taste.

Elie


E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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Hi Foodman,

Thanks for the link to your Lebanese cooking lesson. Now I know how to make kubbeh properly. I don't know anyone here that makes them from scratch.

Take care,

:smile:

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I had forgotten I had asked this question! Thank you all for the replies, and to Foodman, especially, for the recipe! I am now in Japan so Middle Eastern food of any kind is hard to come by. I need to be able to make my own! I knew skordalia wasn't quite right because of the potatoes, and I thought aioli (sp?) was too mayonnaise-y. I did check recipe gullet and although many of the other recipes from Foodman's Lebanese class were there, this one wasn't! Hmmm, is there some kind of prejudice against garlic out there? I should have gone straight to the source instead of relying on recipe gullet. Oh well, off to make some garlic sauce! Thanks again!

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Here is the Romanian version of garlic sauce called Mujdei de Usturio. It is not made with mayonnaise:

http://www.catteacorner.com/vegan-f.htm#mujdei

A little goes a long way!! It is very good with grilled meat, it cures cold and it is good to use if you don't want anyone to kiss you. So make sure that everyone at your table has some. :biggrin:


Edited by Swisskaese (log)

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Here is the Romanian version of garlic sauce called Mujdei de Usturio. It is not made with mayonnaise:

http://www.catteacorner.com/vegan-f.htm#mujdei

A little goes a long way!! It is very good with grilled meat, it cures cold and it is good to use if you don't want anyone to kiss you. So make sure that everyone at your table has some. :biggrin:

Thanks! I think I once had the Romanian version on some chicken. In Winnipeg there's a place that serves Dracula chicken (or something like that) which is just roast chicken with a garlic sauce that isn't really sauce-y. It's nice to know there's a Romanian version, since I'll be there this summer! Except I'll be in the Transylvania area, so perhaps I'll find a Hungarian version, instead!

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This is close to what I make. They have this at a Persian owned Market that I frequent in the Deli section. They tell me the owners wife makes it.

Make sure to taste as you go and drizzle oil slowly. I prefer using my food processor attachment for my blender, the blender seems to make the sauce to smooth. Add more oil as necessary to alleviate the garlic burn (yikes) the more oil the less you know there is garlic present.

Here is the recipe:

1 head garlic

1 cup corn oil or vegetable oil

1/4 cup lemon juice concentrate

1 teaspoon salt

1. Peel one complete head of garlic and place peeled cloves into a blender.

2. (A normal head will produce 10-15 cloves.) Pour in oil slowly and blend on high until cloves appear to be blended well into oil.

3. Pour in the lemon juice and salt and blend for 30 seconds until ingredients are well blended.

4. Use a rubber spatula to mix well and repeat the blending until satisfied that it is blended enough.

5. Can be kept refrigerated up to 2-3 weeks in an air tight container.

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Umm...I know this is a much DELAYED posting but I only recently became interested in this garlic sauce so looked it up in eG and kaboom! This popped up.

The garlic sauce I've been served at Lebanese eateries seems to have lard (yum!) -at least I think it is. It has the same texture and no doubt that's what made it so delicious! Indeed the sauce I had was white in colour and more of a paste (though not thick) than 'saucey'.

Do you think perhaps there was added butter as well?

I really want to recreate this at home (!) and I'm pretty sure it wasn't just garlic, lemon, oil and salt. It also didn't taste like there would be any mayonnaise (but I could be wrong)...

Me want some garlic sauce! It was great with just soft Lebanese bread.


Musings and Morsels - a film and food blog

http://musingsandmorsels.weebly.com/

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i've made a similar lebanese garlic dip using, along with the raw garlic and extra virgin olive oil, boiled floury potato, bread, and sometimes almonds too, then smoothed it over with a spoonful of rich greek style or lebanese style yogurt. salt, pepper and i think either a drop or two of vinegar or lemon juice, i forget which.

yummy with artichokes especially. thin it out with cold water and you have a cold garlic soup to remember.......top with sliced green grapes.....


Marlena the spieler

www.marlenaspieler.com

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The sauce I had looked very much like this (bottom left):

http://www.flickr.com/photos/augustusgloop/136848250/

The one I get looks like that, too, but the ingredient label says garlic, olive oil, and lemon. It might have salt, but I don't remember. It's rich, but light. I also thought there would have been more to it than just garlic, olive oil, and lemon, but there's not. I think you should try making it the simplest way, then if you find it doesn't match your expectations, start playing around.

I can't wait to go to Minneapolis this summer to get more!

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The sauce I had looked very much like this (bottom left):

http://www.flickr.com/photos/augustusgloop/136848250/

The one I get looks like that, too, but the ingredient label says garlic, olive oil, and lemon. It might have salt, but I don't remember. It's rich, but light. I also thought there would have been more to it than just garlic, olive oil, and lemon, but there's not. I think you should try making it the simplest way, then if you find it doesn't match your expectations, start playing around.

I can't wait to go to Minneapolis this summer to get more!

Your description is pretty spot on with what I had too.

I guess I'll give the basic garlic-il-lemon a try -I just have a hard time believing that's all there is! :sad:


Musings and Morsels - a film and food blog

http://musingsandmorsels.weebly.com/

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The sauce I had looked very much like this (bottom left):

http://www.flickr.com/photos/augustusgloop/136848250/

The one I get looks like that, too, but the ingredient label says garlic, olive oil, and lemon. It might have salt, but I don't remember. It's rich, but light. I also thought there would have been more to it than just garlic, olive oil, and lemon, but there's not. I think you should try making it the simplest way, then if you find it doesn't match your expectations, start playing around.

I can't wait to go to Minneapolis this summer to get more!

Your description is pretty spot on with what I had too.

I guess I'll give the basic garlic-il-lemon a try -I just have a hard time believing that's all there is! :sad:

I'd also start with the simplest version, and try adding egg whites if that didn't do it, since the egg whites were what made the sauce at my favorite place in Cairo. Other things I'd try would be (as mentioned above) some mashed-up boiled potato, or white bread, or nut flour. Someone else can correct me if I'm wrong, but I really have trouble imagining lard in a Lebanese sauce.

Presantrin, where in Minneapolis do you get jarred toomeh? And what do they call it? I'd like to get some!


Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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Presantrin, where in Minneapolis do you get jarred toomeh?  And what do they call it? I'd like to get some!

Holy Land has it. They call it garlic spread or something like that--it's in the refrigerated section with the hummous, tabbouleh, etc. in the tubs.

I think other stores also carry Holy Land's stuff. I remember picking some up somewhere else--like The Wedge or Whole Foods or someplace like that.

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Wow, what a great blog! Thanks for posting that link! (Now I have 2 more versions of thoum to try. So much cookery, so little time... *sigh*) :huh:


Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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Although this condiment is served with just about anything nowadays, it started out as a sauce for one particular sandwich. A street food that predated Chicken Shawarma.

Around every corner was a stand like this:

gallery_39290_3790_13354.jpg

On a work station (part of which is seen in the foreground), sat a sandwich press and fixings for a great panino: a bunch of baguettes, Lebanese pickles and Toum.

For 25 cents (35 years ago, one dollar now), a worker pulls apart a still warm chicken, slices the bread open, slathers Toum on one or both sides, adds pickle spears and chicken then in the press it goes.

These are the ingredients (and tools) to make Toum:

gallery_39290_6537_37480.jpg

The oil is corn oil

You only need a pinch of salt in the beginning to keep the salt from flying while you mash it.

For the amount of garlic in the photo, only about half a tsp of lemon juice is used.

The pestle can be found at any Middle eastern store, ask for a garlic masher. It's the only tool used for garlic and is a must in any Lebanese kitchen, if garlic is not used whole it's getting smashed :biggrin: . No mortar is necessary. Used correctly the pestle can be used in glass bowls (as in the start of a Lebanese salad) or a small ramekin for garlic butter etc.

Start by smashing the garlic with a pinch of salt til you have this:

gallery_39290_6537_5248.jpg

Add some oil and stir the mixture slowly but constantly. No downward pressure. Add few drops of oil and lemon juice at a time ( more oil than lemon juice).

We tried to show the process in this video. After smashing the garlic I tried to show the start and ending time, it took six minutes to get to the finished sauce. The video was shot in nine segments that were later edited together to make for ~ 2 minute video.

The oil was dispensed from the oil dispenser while the lemon juice was dispensed from a small white cup.

Garlic sauce video.

The finished sauce.

gallery_39290_6537_27196.jpg

In a spoon sideways.

gallery_39290_6537_3088.jpg

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Thanks for the video of the garlic sauce, I use lots of garlic but never made something like this. I will need to buy that wooden pounder. Here is another version by Dede Mediterranian cooking, she's very good and has many youtube videos of all kinds of recipes, check it out


Cheers, Sarah

http://sarahmelamed.com/

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This has to be the "secret garlic sauce" they made at Zankou's Chicken which is a small So. California roasted chicken chain but their sauce is blindingly white.

I say made and not make because it's changed since they started putting it in foil sealed cups. The taste is more pre-fab now and not as good.

Thanks for the recipes!


Edited by Susie Q (log)

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Well, if you don't feel like making it at home, or have trouble getting the right consistency, there might yet be hope. :)

Apparently, many supermarkets now carry Frieda's Garlic Delight, which is exactly the sauce/dip/spread in question. :) There are other flavors available, but the "original" flavor is thoumiyya.


Edited by nolafoodie (log)

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