What is Tarator?

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  • Written By: Misty Amber Brighton
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 26 February 2020
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Tarator, a Bulgarian dish enjoyed in many middle eastern countries, is a type of cold soup or liquid salad usually made from yogurt, cucumbers, oil, lemon juice, dill and walnuts among other ingredients. This dish is typically eaten during the summer and may even have chunks of ice in it. It may be served as a dip for seafood, such as squid, or eaten as a main course when bits of omelet are added.

This dish is believed to have originated in Bulgaria. Even so, it is also popular in Turkey, Iran, Macedonia, Cyprus and Alabania. The name of this cold soup may change depending on where it is made. It might be referred to as ttalattouri in Cyprus, or raparyp in Persia. The methods of making tarator also vary from country to country.

Cucumbers, fresh yogurt, vegetable oil, dill, and walnuts are some of the ingredients normally used to make tarator. Olive oil may sometimes be used in place of the vegetable oil. Some variations call for vinegar and oil to be used instead of yogurt. In other variations, carrots or lettuce might be added into the dish or used in place of the cucumbers.


Tarator is typically chilled for some time before being served. This liquid salad may also have chunks of ice added to it, because it is often eaten during the summer months to help cool people off. Even so, it is not normally frozen.

In Turkey, tarator is normally served as a dip or sauce along with seafood. This is especially true whenever octopus is served. In this instance, the dish may have a Turkish spice known as tahin added to it. It can also include sesame seeds.

Many times, this cold soup can be eaten as a main dish. This is normally done in Albania, where citizens typically enjoy adding bits of a plain omelet to their tarator. Residents of this country normally prepare it without nuts or dill when doing so.

Bulgarian cuisine normally calls for tarator to be eaten as an appetizer. It is sometimes also served as a side dish in this country. When served in this fashion, it is typically made from very thick yogurt and has little or no water added to it.

Tarator can be a refreshing dish whether eaten as a main course, appetizer, or dip. It is generally easy and inexpensive to make. People who are traveling to a country where this cold soup is popular may want to experience it for themselves, especially if they are visiting during the summer months.


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