February 15, 2005

best condiment ever

Last night tallasiandude and I ate dinner at Shawarma King in Coolidge Corner (before a free showing of Princess Bride at the theater, whee!) and with his chicken shawarma came a little cup of creamy white paste. It looked like mashed potato, but it turned out to be garlic. I asked the guy behind the counter what else was in it, and managed to wheedle out of him that there's olive oil, lemon, vinegar and salt, but mostly raw garlic, all pureed up in the blender. Somehow they get a perfect balance of mild yet tangy garlic flavor, with a bit of tartness from the acids and enough salt to balance the whole works.

I ate a bunch of it with my lamb kefta & potato special, and when we were done with dinner I ate the rest of it with a spoon. YUM.

In related matters: I love me some Shawarma King, and last night was no exception, but there is another condender these days for my choice of Lebanese eats: Reef Cafe in Allston. Thanks to Arthur Hungry for the tip-off. We had stuffed cabbage (long thin elegant little rolls the size of extra-long fried spring rolls) and a lamb/eggplant/rice casserole, both delightful, with salty hot-pink turnip pickles that I loved. I think Reef Cafe has better tomato-cucumber salad & pickles, but SK has fantastic ayran and that garlic sauce... hmmm, a battle of titans. I will have to mack down more goodies, I mean peform more painstaking research...

Posted by foodnerd at February 15, 2005 03:26 PM

Garlic sauce...
sounds like a variant of the Greek Skordalia. Recipe and brief info here:
happy noshing

Posted by: Lara at February 22, 2005 01:16 PM

Hi! I think that I have a recipe for what you are talking about - it is similar to skordalia, though I believe that skordalia has potatoes and yoghurt in it as well. The recipe that I have doesn't have an official name - it's just called "Lebanese Garlic Sauce", but I've doen some research and I think that the actual name for it is "Toum". I got it at a recipe exchange a while ago. Here it is:

Lebanese Garlic Sauce

4 Bulbs of garlic, peeled
1 c Lemon juice
Sea salt, to taste
3 -4 c Olive oil

I use a mortar and pestle to mash the garlic into a paste by hand, adding olive oil and lemon juice as I go. It takes longer than a food processor, which you can also use, but the texture is better. For a thicker paste, use 3 c olive oil, for more of a saucy texture, use four. Hope this was what you were looking for!

[I've also roasted the garlic prior to using it, which not only makes it easier to mash, but makes a milder tasting spread. I've added a tsp of cumin before as well as ground pepper to taste, and they've all been really good combinations.]

Posted by: Kate at March 7, 2005 02:44 PM

You also need to add potatoes to get that mixture

Posted by: Tanya at January 1, 2010 02:09 PM
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