Written by Sophie Churchill
Tarator is a traditional Bulgarian dish also referred to as “liquid salad”. It can be served cold as an appetizer or main dish and contains a base of Bulgarian yogurt, cucumber, garlic, dill, oil, and water. However, several other adaptations of it can be found throughout the Balkans. According to 196 Flavors, this dish dates back to 8500 BC during the Neolithic times and is based on the diets of stock breeders and land tillers. It provided a hearty, quick meal that could help the body adjust to intense summer heat. The star ingredient is the Bulgarian yogurt which is known for its unique flavor profile caused by a specific bacterial culture, Lactobacillus Bulgaricus. In Traditional Bulgarian Dairy Food, this bacteria is the by-product of accidentally allowing milk to ferment and thus creating a yogurt-like consistency. This process also allowed the milk to last longer and be made into dishes such as Tarator. In fact, Bulgarians are so proud of their yogurt that a festival is held every year in July to celebrate it! However, you do not need this special yogurt in order to make your own Tarator at home and enjoy its refreshing taste.
Preparation Time: 15 Minutes
- .68 kg Bulgarian yogurt or regular yogurt
- 1 cucumber, peeled and deseeded
- 85 g walnuts, chopped and lightly toasted
- 44 g sunflower oil
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 small bunch dill, finely chopped
- Beat the yogurt until it is smooth.
- In a blender, add the yogurt, oil, garlic, cucumber, half of the walnuts, half of the dill.
- Blend until reaching a smooth consistency. Add salt and pepper.
- Serve chilled or top with ice cubes and sprinkle the remaining walnuts and dill.
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