Tarator – chilled yoghurt and cucumber soup

Since I am in Bulgaria right now, there is hardly a better tribute to Bulgarian summer than the tarator (таратор).  When I was a kid it was a fixture of our summer menu – for lunch and dinner. Incredibly simple and fast to prepare – it can bright up the summer menu.

serves: 4        difficulty: easy      prep time: 5 min


  • 1 pint of good plain Greek yoghurt such as Fage or Chobani. Even better is the Bulgarian yoghurt White Mountain that some good grocery stores such as Berkeley Bowl carry.
  • 1 English cucumber
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 4 tbs chopped walnuts
  • bunch of dill
  • 4 tbs olive oil



I will get to the tarator prep but first a few gratuitous pictures of Bulgaria summer produce bounty – from the Dimitar Petkov farmers’ market near my dad’s place in Sofia.

Now the tarator:

Chop the garlic and mix it with a pinch of salt. Then use blade of a wide kitchen knife to press it into paste.

Then chop the walnuts and mix them with the garlic paste.

Peel and dice the cucumber into 1/8 inch dice.

Mix the cucumber with the walnut-garlic mixture. Chop half the bunch of dil and mix with the rest of the ingredients.

Shake the yoghurt vigorously before opening the container. That will liquify the yoghurt. Add the yoghurt to the mixture.


Then add the olive oil and stir well. Add some cold water and ice cubes to thin the soup as much as you want. Season with 2 tsp of salt. It is ready to serve!


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