Garlic Dips for Kicks


Makalo, Skordalia, Toum. Garlics dips for kicks

Garlic, you could say is our best friend. The health benefits attributed to garlic include lower blood pressure and cholesterol. Besides, garlic has an overall anti-inflammatory effect on our bodies thus creating the potential for a reduced risk of cancer as well as boosting our immune system, a good thing in times of COVID19.
'Makalo' in North Macedonia, 'Skordalia' in Greece, 'Toum' in Lebanon, these are condiments that incorporate garlic as the the main ingredient yet use different methods to complete the dish.
Makalo for instance uses; vinegar, peppers and yoghurt. Skordalia includes bread or potato but vinegar too. Although Toum has its origins in lebanon, nowhere near the Balkan, it nevertheless deserves to be mentioned. Toum is made using just 4 ingredients; garlic, oil, lemon and salt.
Because each of these has it's own flavour profile and texture I will show you how to make all three.
Prep Time10 mins
blending5 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: dip, Side Dish
Cuisine: Balkan, Mediterranean
Keyword: easy, garlic, healthy
Servings: 2 jars
Cost: 4-5EURO/US$


  • food processor
  • lemon squeezer


  • TOUM - Lebanese, not Balkanese
  • 3 heads garlic use very fresh, white garlic
  • 2 dl sunflower or olive oil or a combination of the two
  • 2 tsp salt use fine sea salt
  • 1 whole lemon sqeezed
  • MAKALO - North Macedonian
  • 1 head garlic
  • 100 grams butter or oil
  • 1 dl white (wine) vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • SKORDALIA - Greek
  • 1 head garlic
  • 2 dl olive oil extra virgin
  • ½ dl white wine vinegar
  • 1.5 kg potatoes crumbly variety
  • 1 tsp salt


  • For the TOUM; peel te garlic, measure out the olive oil and squeeze a lemon. Add garlic to a food processor, add the salt, add a teaspoon of lemon juice and start processing. When the garlic has turned to a paste slowly drizzle in the olive oil, drop by drop at first then continue with a slow steady stream. Half way through add some more lemon juice. Then again some oil, add more juice and so on.
    Toum should have the same consistency as mayonaisse.
  • For the MAKALO; It seems the North Macedonians prefer butter to oil but in reality both can be used and both are delicious.
    Add Garlic, vinegar and salt to the food processor. Blend till smooth. Then slowly drizzle either melted butter or sunflower oil till you have a smooth paste.
  • For the SKORDALIA; Slice and boil potatoes in salted water. When cooked, drain and let the steam evaporate. Then take the other ingredients and blend these in a food processor till you have a smooth paste. Mash the potatoes and stir in the garlic paste. Season to taste.


While TOUM can be stored, if refrigerated, for up to a month SKORDALIA and MAKALO should be consumed within a few days of making .
Both Toum and Makalo have strong flavours which are best paired with dishes that can compete. Grilled or barbecued meats for instance are perfect.
Skordalia is milder because the ratio of garlic to potato is much less compared to either Toum or Makalo. Therefore in Greece Skordalia is often served as a dip with such delights as deep fried courgettes/zucchini and battered cod.
Whichever of these you intend to make,

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