Tarator is refreshing, vegan soup based on the combination of yogurt, cucumbers and garlic. It is a healthy and cooling dish for summer. You will love it.
We love finding new ways to eat soup in the warmer months of the year, and Tarator is one of the best ones yet. It is an Eastern European soup and it can also be used as a sauce for vegetables or bread. It is traditionally a yoghurt or tahini based dish, mixed with ground walnuts, herbs and garlic. Cucumber often makes an appearance in the list of ingredients for Tarator, accompanied by lemon juice, water and dill. It is extremely easy to make, and it can stand alone as a refreshing appetizer.
You may choose to either cut the cucumber into tiny cubes, or to grate it. These options will result in different textures in the Tarator, so we recommend you try both and choose the one you prefer when cooking for guests. Because the ingredients to the soup are so simple, you can add as much or as little of each component as you would prefer to taste. The only important guideline to stick to is not to add too much water as the cucumbers will release a lot of liquid while they are blended and you don’t want the Tarator to become too runny.
We usually use two tablespoons of olive oil to balance the flavour, you can also use avocado or coconut oil according to your preference. Of course, the tastiest tahini is homemade. You can make your own tahini by roasting sesame seeds (take care as they burn very easily) in a pan over the stove and then blending them in a mixer along with a mild tasting oil (we like coconut best!). You can choose your own quantities and keep leftovers in the fridge for more than four weeks. Mix it well before use.
Fresh garlic and fresh dill make for the most refreshing mixture of flavours in Tarator, but you may also use garlic paste if that is what you have available. Don’t switch the fresh dill for the dried variant though! Double cream Greek yoghurt is the best option in any recipe, but a low fat equivalent will also work in this recipe. Use a whisk or fork to mix the yoghurt until it is no longer firm, but very runny.
Bear in mind that ingredients often become warm during the blending process, and allow time to refrigerate before serving accordingly. You can also place some ice cubes in the blender along with the other ingredients if you are cooking in a rush. For this recipe, we recommend that you add no more than ten ice cubes.
Tarator can be served as a sauce in a shawerme and it is particularly nice with a lamb filling. It can be poured over a chicken salad or served with bread. The sauce can also be poured over baked fish or served alone as a light, summery starter at a dinner party. It is also used as the base of hummus and delicious dishes such as baba ghanouj. It can also be eaten in between courses as a palate cleanser.
TARATOR RECIPE ( BULGARIAN CUISINE)Print