Tiklaieh (fried garlic topping)

In any Arabic home, the tantalizing cloud that fills the house when the tiklaieh is added to the dish is an unspoken invitation that draws everyone to the kitchen. It is time to slow down, leave the worries of the day aside and simply take the time to enjoy a good meal.

What is Tiklaieh?

Tiklaieh is an aromatic finishing touch that is added to many recipes in the Arabic cuisine.

Simply put, it is a technique that uses a fair amount of olive oil or ghee to gently fry garlic, onions, tomatoes, nuts or herbs then the combo of oil and fried items are added to the recipe as a topping or it is stirred into the recipe right before serving.

What makes Tiklaieh different from regular frying or sauteing?
  • The proportion of oil to other ingredients that is used is higher than the couple of tablespoons you would usually use to saute onions at the beginning of the recipe and less than that used for deep frying.

    Tiklaieh is usually added at the very end, when you are almost ready to serve as opposed to at the beginning (when you add olive oil and garlic/ onions to the bottom of the pot).
  • Tiklaieh uses olive oil/ghee and the items fried in them as opposed to draining the oil after frying.

    The idea behind Tiklaieh is to infuse the oil with the desired flavours then use that olive oil to permeate the whole recipe. Adding it at the very end allows the flavours and aromas to shine and present front and center as opposed to blending gently in the background.
What does the word tiklaieh mean?

Tiklaieh comes from the Arabic Kala which means to fry. Tiklaieh means that which has been fried

Tiklaieh (fried garlic topping)
What are the types of Tiklaieh?

Tiklaieh has many shapes and forms, depending on the ingredients used in it. The most popular are olive oil and minced garlic. Other combinations include onion strips, chopped coriander, or parsley,and nuts.
Below you will find a list of Tiklaieh combinations along with the recipes they are used in.
Hopefully, they will inspire you to give this technique/ aromatic addition a try. and believe me when I say : there is something magical about Tiklaieh that truly transforms a recipe. Something that you just have to try to comprehend.

1.Minced garlic-infused olive oil (Tiklaiet tommeh )in lobia (cowpeas recipe that is coming your way in a few days)

2.Garlic Tiklaieh for Mulukhiyah

3.Tomatoes, garlic, olive oil and vinegar in koshari.

5.Tiklaiet snobar/looz (almonds or pinenuts tiklaieh) for fatteh

Do tell me, have you ever tried tiklaieh?what is your favourite tiklaieh? And in which recipe do you consider it a must?