Lebanese Chicken & Toum Dip (garlic dip)

Chicken and garlic dip

In any good Lebanese restaurant you'll be served a creamy garlic dip with juicy chicken. As soon as you sit down it's on the table with soft Lebanese bread. 

Imagine soft flat bread with juicy chicken and that creamy garlicky sauce. It's heaven. As far as i'm concerned the dip is the star of the show. The chicken merely plays a supporting role here. Vegetarians rejoice, this dip is perfect with anything from falafel to veggie burgers. We even enjoy it with raw veggie sticks. It's delicious!

This is my recipe for bringing that restaurant experience at home. Enjoy!

Serves 6


Spicy Chicken
6 skinless thigh fillets (cut in half)
1 heaped tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt (more if you prefer)
1 zest of a lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil

Toum (garlic dip)
30 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon salt
juice of half a lemon
2.5 cups canola or sunflower oil


For the chicken, combine all the spices, lemon zest and oil in a small bowl and mix. Lay the chicken fillets on a sheet of baking paper and brush half the marinade on top. Turn the chicken over and brush the rest of the marinade on the other side.

Place a second sheet of baking paper over the chicken and beat using a flat meat mallet or rolling pin. The chicken should be nice and flat.

Heat a pan and shallow fry the chicken fillets in a little oil. Cook in batches so they brown nicely and don't stew. 

Set aside somewhere warm to rest while you make the garlic dip.

For the garlic dip, start by pureeing the garlic cloves and the salt in a mini processor. The salt seasons and acts as an abrasive. The puree should be very smooth.

Stop the processor and add in the lemon juice. Pulse to combine.

Add in the oil a tablespoon at a time. Don't be tempted to add more oil in a single go or the sauce will split. Taste as you go. The more oil, the milder the garlic taste. You can add more or less depending on your taste. The dip will keep in an airtight container for 3 weeks in the fridge.

Serve the warm chicken with the cool dip, fresh salad and bread.

Lebanese chicken and garlic feast