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Tarator - Cold Summer Soup

Tarator (Cyrillic: таратор) popular in the summertime in Bulgaria and the Republic of Macedonia.
It is made from yoghurt,cucumbers,garlic,nuts,dill,vegetable oil and water.
It is best served chilled or even with ice. However, there are some variations where no nuts or dill is required. It also gives a pleasent taste and is still exquisite.
Bulgarian tarator

Tarator is eaten with a spoon, either as a soup before the main dish, or as a salad with the main meal.

The Turkish variation of tarator is similar, but 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.

Tarator is also consumed in almost the same manner 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.


To prepare tarator you need:

  •  cucumber,
  • about 1/2 kilogram of yoghurt,
  •  water,
  •  several cloves of garlic,
  •  several nuts,
  •  some dill,
  •  salt,
  •  vegetable oil of your choice,
  • several drops of vinegar.


Mash the garlic with salt and then add to it grated or finely chopped cucumber.

Add these to a large bowl and pour in the yoghurt.
Then gradualy add water - the thickness is down to taste and also depends on how flavourful the yogurt you are using is and its fat content.
Finally add finely chopped walnuts and fresh dill as well as a couple of tea spoons of oil sunflower oil is typically used) and finely chopped garlic.

Snezhanka salad

There is a type of tarator known as 'suh tarator', or dry tarator, which is prepared with very thick yoghurt, without adding water, like the greek tzatziki. This is also sometimes called 'snezhanka' (Снежанка салат) salad, meaning Snow White, as in the fairy tale. This is however a modern name for the meze dish.

Bulgarian Cuisine

Traditional Bulgarian Cooking