Shawarma garlic sauce, also known as toum, has a rich history and is believed to have originated in the Levant region, specifically in Lebanon and Syria. Toum, which means “garlic” in Arabic, has been a staple condiment in Middle Eastern cuisine for centuries. Garlic has been used for its flavor and medicinal properties in the region for thousands of years, and the combination of garlic, lemon juice, and oil likely developed as a way to preserve and enhance the flavor of garlic. Toum gained popularity alongside shawarma, a dish that became popular in the Levant and later spread to other parts of the world. Shawarma and garlic sauce are often served together, as the creamy and garlicky sauce that complements the flavorful grilled meat.

Here’s a recipe to make it at home:


  • 1 head of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup of vegetable oil


  1. Peel the garlic cloves and cut off the root ends.
  2. Add the garlic and salt to a food processor and pulse until the garlic is finely minced.
  3. Add the lemon juice to the food processor and pulse for a few seconds to combine.
  4. With the food processor running, slowly pour in the vegetable oil in a thin stream until the mixture becomes thick and creamy.
  5. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning as needed with more salt or lemon juice.

Note: It’s important to add the oil very slowly while the food processor is running to emulsify the sauce and create a smooth, creamy texture. If the sauce separates, you can add another clove of garlic and slowly pour in the separated sauce while blending to fix it.


Note: This recipe is not Basha’s Shawarma’s official recipe for Toum.