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Video: Bulgarian Tarator Recipe And Delicious Variations For Summer
Sometimes it happens that simple dishes are the ones that impress us the most! And this is precisely the case with the Bulgarian tarator recipe. A delicious yogurt and cucumber spread halfway between Greek tzatziki and gazpacho, tarator will make a superb cold starter idea for the summer. Your guests will help themselves with a ladle! I promise ! So, here are all its variations and how to prepare them!
Bulgarian tarator recipe or a dish halfway between tzatziki and gazpacho
Without doubt, the tarator is a Bulgarian dish! But what is the story of Bulgarian cold soup that everyone is talking about? Usually made with yogurt, cucumbers, garlic, walnuts, dill, sunflower oil and water, the Bulgarian tarator recipe can be served with ice cubes as a starter or as a vegetarian dish. In addition, some local variants replace yogurt with water, vinegar, and nuts with bread, while others, rarer, swap cucumbers for lettuce, spinach or carrots! Basically, the tarator varies according to the tastes of the person who prepares it!
The variation with vinegar and water in which no yogurt is added is normally known as "simple tarator". On the other hand, the tarator, whose preparation does not require water, looks like a spread rather than a cold soup. Called "snow white", this spread is strongly reminiscent of the taste of Greek tzatziki! In short, the variations may vary based on people's preferences as well as regions of the country! But anyway, the key to a successful tarator recipe is Bulgarian yogurt!
Bulgarian yogurt: the key element of a successful tarator
Yogurt, everyone knows, but have you heard of the famous Bulgarian yogurt which is more and more talked about? Believe it or not, this delicious fermented milk dates back to the Neolithic Age, 8,500 BCE, and is known worldwide for its unique taste. It is part of the daily menu of Bulgarians and is always present at their table. What is more, a good number of Bulgarian dishes incorporate fermented milk into their traditional recipes. In short, it is their favorite ingredient for making soups, salads, desserts and sauces.
But where do its gastronomic and nutritional benefits come from? Basically, the secret of Bulgarian yogurt lies in a small bacterium, known as “lactobacillus bulgaricus”, which indeed causes the fermentation of milk and, consequently, gives this incomparable flavor. And when combined with cucumber, dill, garlic and a few nuts, this fermented milk turns into a wonderful refreshing accompaniment and perfect for summer days!
As you've probably understood, tarator isn't the only dish made with cucumber and dairy products. There are many recipes that combine these ingredients and are used all over the world. Tzatziki and gazpacho aren't the only examples. In Iran, a similar dish of tarator is known as ab-doogh-khiar. In Turkish cuisine, it is more of a sauce that usually accompanies fish, squid or mussels and fries.
In Syria and Lebanon, it is prepared with tahini and accompanies falafels. In Cyprus, on the other hand, the recipe is similar to that of the Bulgarians, but the Cypriots prefer oregano over dill. In India, you will find the essential raita, often tasted with hot naan. Delicious !
Bulgarian tarator - the complete classic recipe
- 600 g Bulgarian yogurt
- 1 cucumber, peeled and seeded
- 80g walnuts, crushed and lightly roasted
- 3 tablespoons of sunflower oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 small bunch of dill, chopped
- Salt and pepper
As for the preparation, there really is nothing easier. To concoct with a robot or a simple fork, your tarator will be just as refreshing and delicious! So start by Chopping the garlic as finely as possible. In a large bowl, beat the Bulgarian yogurt with the sunflower oil until blended. Peel the cucumber and cut it into small cubes and mix it with the fermented milk without forgetting to add a little water. Then add the garlic and dill and season with salt and pepper. Finally, don't forget to sprinkle with walnuts, pistachios or pumpkin seeds. Finally, place your tarator in the fridge for 1-2 hour (s). You can also swap sunflower oil for a few drizzle of olive oil. Serve as a starter with toast,as a soup by adding 2-3 ice cubes or as an aperitif in cute little verrines!