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Halifax-Style Donair Sauce

Halifax-style Donair sauce before the ingredients have been mixed together.

Halifax-style Donair sauce before the ingredients have been mixed together.

The garlic sauce that originally went with Turkish doner kabab is made with yogurt, fresh garlic, lemon juice, sugar or honey, and optional flavouring.

In Halifax’s fast food joints, like King of Donair, it changed into something sweeter that can be made from fairly standard (North American) pantry ingredients. I’ve added some fresh garlic back in but it you find yourself in a post-apocalyptic wasteland feel free to make your Halifax donair sauce by subbing another tablespoon of garlic powder for the fresh stuff.

Almost all online recipes make a big deal of the fact that if you’re too vigorous about the mixing the sauce will be runny. My back-of-the-napkin guess is that the vinegar and milk form a sort of very loose, basic cheese and too much stirring will break it.

There is also near unanimity on the fact that Halifax donair sauce will last a long time (weeks, even a month or two) in your fridge. (If it appears to separate, drain the watery part and use the thick part but don’t try to remix.) The fresh garlic will cut this refrigerator life in half probably.

Halifax-style Donair Sauce

Adapted from the recipe on donair.org.
The ingredients for Halifax-style donair sauce can be found in the pantry of any decent backwoods survivalist.

The ingredients for Halifax-style donair sauce can be found in the pantry of any decent backwoods survivalist.

Halifax Donair sauce is a sweet, garlicky sauce that gets a bit of acid kick from the vinegar. Serve on donair pizza, donair on a pita, or with garlic fingers.

Prep time: 2 minutes Total time: 2 minutes

Yield: a three-quarters full quart-sized Mason jar.

  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 25 g (3 cloves) garlic, finely minced
  • 2 TB garlic powder
  • 4 TB white vinegar
  • Put all ingredients except the vinegar in a one litre Mason jar. Stir gently with a wooden spoon. Once the mixture is mostly ¬†homogeneous from top to bottom, add vinegar and stir a couple times more.
  • Serve with garlic fingers, donair pizza, or donair meat on a pita. Store leftover sauce in refrigerator for a few weeks at most.
Today’s other post has my recipe for garlic fingers, one of the classic companions for donair sauce.

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3 Comments

  1. [...] Garlic Fingers topped with three cheeses and served with Halifax-style donair sauce are an East Coast classic and an easy-to-make family [...]

  2. Ayngelina says:

    The recipe I use doesn’t have sweetened condensed milk but does use icing sugar, is yours sweet enough?

  3. foodwithlegs says:

    Hi Ayngelina, to my taste it’s definitely sweet enough. I should note, though, that I’ve never actually had a donair in Halifax. My girlfriend who grew up in the Maritimes says that this version is right on what she remembers.

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