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    Lebanese Garlic Yogurt Sauce Recipe (Labanieh)

    Published May 11, 2022. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

    This tasty Garlic Yogurt sauce recipe adds a punch of flavor with its tangy, garlicky, combination making it perfect for dishes such as kibbeh.

    I believe a sauce can make or break a dish. Too much and it overpowers; Not enough and you wish you had more. Check out my Pesto or Reduced Balsamic to help take the flavor of your food to the next level.

    lebanese garlic sauce

    Garlic Yogurt Sauce

    Garlic Yogurt Sauce is a common accompaniment to middle eastern foods, especially meat, vegetables, and grains. This sauce is specifically used in a classic Lebanese dish known as Kibbeh bi labanieh.

    This classic sauce consists of a lot of garlic, yogurt, a slurry, cooked rice, salt, and mint. It is a creamy sauce that should resemble a similar texture to bechamel.

    Ingredients You’ll Need

    • Yogurt – Use whole fat plain yogurt.
    • Water – You will need to use cold water.
    • Corn Starch – This will be combined with the water and then used to thicken the sauce.
    • Olive Oil – Use good olive oil to help cook the garlic.
    • Garlic – Finely mince or grate the garlic cloves for this.
    • Rice – Use short-grain rice in this, like sushi or arborio rice.
    • Mint – I used fresh mint for this recipe.

    How to Make a Garlic Yogurt Sauce

    Follow these simple procedures to make this delicious Garlic Yogurt Sauce:

    Add some olive oil to a saucepot and cook some garlic in it over low heat, just until fragrant.

    cooking garlic in a pan

    Next, add the yogurt and turn the heat to high.

    adding yogurt to a pot

    In a pourable container whisk together water and corn starch until combined.

    mixing together water and cornstarch

    Pour the water and cornstarch mixture into the pan with the yogurt over high heat and slowly pour it in while continuing to whisk.

    adding cornstarch slurry to a yogurt sauce

    Once the mixture begins to boil and becomes thick, turn the heat down to low and whisk in cooked short-grain rice, salt, and chopped fresh mint, and serve.

    finishing a yogurt sauce with mint

    Make-Ahead and Storage

    Make-Ahead: You can make this up to 1 day ahead of time.

    How to Store: Cover and keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

    How to Serve: You can serve this cold or hot. If you want to serve it hot, add the desired amount to a saucepan and heat over low heat until hot.

    Chef Notes + Tips

    • Do not use Greek yogurt in this recipe.
    • If you only have dry mint, add it at the beginning when pouring in the yogurt.
    yogurt sauce

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    Let's Cook - Chef Billy Parisi

    Lebanese Garlic Yogurt Sauce Recipe (labanieh)

    This tasty Garlic Yogurt sauce recipe adds a punch of flavor with its tangy, garlicky, combination making it perfect for dishes like kibbeh.
    Servings: 6
    Prep Time: 5 minutes
    Cook Time: 15 minutes

    Ingredients 

    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 5 finely minced garlic cloves
    • 4 cups whole milk yogurt
    • 1 ½ cups cold water
    • 1/3 cup cornstarch
    • ¾ cup cooked short-grain rice
    • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
    • salt to taste

    Instructions

    • Add the olive oil to a saucepot and cook some garlic in it over low heat, just until fragrant. This takes about 2 to 3 minutes.
    • Next, add in the yogurt and turn the heat to high.
    • In a pourable container on the side, whisk together the water and corn starch until combined.
    • Pour the water and cornstarch mixture into the pan with the yogurt over high heat and slowly pour it in while continuing to whisk.
    • Once the mixture begins to boil and become thick, turn the heat down to low and whisk in cooked short-grain rice, salt, and chopped fresh mint.
    • Serve the sauce hot or cool and serve chilled.

    Notes

    Make-Ahead: You can make this up to 1 day ahead of time.
    How to Store: Cover and keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
    How to Serve: You can serve this cold or hot. If you want to serve it hot, add the desired amount to a saucepan and heat over low heat until hot.
    Do not use Greek yogurt in this recipe.
    If you only have dry mint, add it at the beginning when pouring in the yogurt.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 207kcalCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 7gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 21mgSodium: 80mgPotassium: 301mgFiber: 1gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 268IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 213mgIron: 1mg