How To Make Tarator Recipe
Tarator is a cold soup (or a liquid salad), popular in the summertime in Albania, Bulgaria and the Republic of Macedonia. It is made of yogurt, cucumbers, garlic, walnuts, dill, vegetable oil, and water. It is best served chilled or even with ice. Local variations may replace yogurt with water and vinegar, omit nuts or dill, or add bread. The cucumbers may on rare occasions be replaced with lettuce or carrots.
Regional variantions of Tarator
Tarator is consumed in Albania in almost the same manner it is consumed in other countries. However, water, nuts, fruits and dill aren't used. Vegetable oil is often substituted with olive oil. In a different variation, this dish is enriched with a plain omelet, cut into little pieces and added to the mixture. Due to the richness the eggs add, this variation of tarator may be consumed as a main course
Tarator is a popular dish in Bulgaria, a salad version of tarator is known as "Snow White salad". It is made of thick yogurt and no water. It can be served as an appetizer or as a side to the main meal.
In Greece, a similar meal is known as tzatziki. Tzatziki usually contains olive oil, parsley and mint in addition to the ingredients listed above. The word used for the Cypriot variant, ttalattouri, derives from the word tarator via Turkish.
An similar dish in Iran called Maast-O-Khiar contains chopped onions as opposed to garlic and may also contain black pepper and raisins.
In Macedonia, tarator is a popular appetizer (meze) but also served as a side dish along with Shopska salad with most meals. Sunflower and olive oil are more commonly used and walnuts are sometimes omitted.
The Turkish variant, cacık, is similar to the salad version. It has a rich consistency and is served as a meze. On the south coast of Turkey, it is served with fried squid and includes yoghurt, lemon, walnut, olive oil, bread and garlic.
To prepare tarator you need 1 fresh cucumber or 4-5 pickles, 1/2 kilogram of yoghurt, 1-2 cloves of garlic, several walnuts, some dill, salt, 2 teaspoons vegetable oil of your choice (sunflower oil is typically used), and water.
Preparation: Grate or finely chop the cucumber(s) and place in a large bowl. Mash the garlic with salt and add to the cucumber. Add ground walnuts and finely chopped fresh dill. Pour in the yoghurt. Then gradually add water - the thickness is down to taste. Finally, add the vegetable oil.
To prepare the salad version of tarator, follow the same instructions but do not add water. For thick consistency, the yoghurt can be strained in a cloth or paper bag or filter, traditionally made of muslin, to remove the whey (strained yoghurt). As a quick alternative, one can add several tablespoons of sour cream to regular youghurt.