Dry Tarator, or Bulgarian Dill Salad

I think I have already mentioned I am growing herbs on my balcony. Some grow easier, some less and some refuse to sprout. This year’s dill grains were very shy at the beginning, but now they grow like crazy reaching almost 50 cm height!. Finding a new, rich in dill recipe became vital! Something reminded me of a delicious dill salad I was served any years ago by a Bulgarian friend of mine and after a quick internet research I found the Angellove’s Cooking Bulgarian blog and there the dry tarator recipe.

Tarator is a famous Bulgarian cold soup made with yogurt, cucumbers and dill, while dry tarator, also called Snow White salad (Салата Снежанка), or yogurt salad (Млечна салата), is a thicker version of the soup, served as a salad. I have repared two versions of dry tarator: one with chopped cucumber and the other with grated cucumber. The latter was rather semi-dry, perfect as a dip or as a thick sauce (the above photo is my second, dip/sauce version). Both versions were excellent for the hot days we are having now in Switzerland. I think I’ll grow dill all year round only to be able to prepare it whenever I want.

Mina from Angellove’s Cooking advised me to add some water, if I wanted to obtain the tarator soup. I will certainly remember this advice on very hot Summer days. As usually I have modified a bit the original recipe (e.g. adding more dill since I really adore it and grating the cucumber since I wanted this to be a dip). This is the first Bulgarian recipe I have realised, but certainly not the last!

Preparation: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

400 ml drained yogurt (or not drained if using very thick yogurt)

3 tablespoons olive oil

5 tablespoons chopped dill (the recipe called for 2 tablespoons, but if I couldn’t stop myself from adding more)

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 cloves garlic

a couple of tablespoons chopped/ground walnuts

1 long cucumber

2 teaspoons salt (or more)

(crunchy Chinese cabbage leaves or or other crunchy salad leaves)

Mix or grate the garlic (I mixed them with the dill in a food processor).

Either peel the cucumber and chop it finely or don’t peel it and grate it if you prefer this to be a dip/sauce.

Combine all the ingredients.

Taste the salad and add more salt if necessary.

Fill the crunchy salad leaves with dill salad or serve it in bowls.

Decorate with dill sprigs.

16 thoughts on “Dry Tarator, or Bulgarian Dill Salad

  1. janet

    I am actually of Eastern European descent but rarely cook it at home. How funny, eh? I will be branching out, though, I think. My bf’s parents are very traditional Polish folk, so I will be trying to find compromises – things both of us will happily eat! Thank goodness I also love dill! 🙂 I just put some seeds out to grow last weekend. I hope it works out and the raccoons don’t it, along with all my kale and Swiss chard. 😉

    1. sissi Post author

      This salad doesn’t make me think about the Polish cuisine, although the Polish sliced cucumber salad has dill in it too…. From what I have seen the Bulgarian cuisine is closer to the Balkans’ cuisine than the Polish one. It seems much lighter 😉
      Good luck with your herb and vegetables growing! (I have recently had problems with parsley- it was the only herb eaten regularly by sparrows!!! I had to plant barbecue wooden picks around it!).

  2. Jeno @ Week Nite Meals

    The salad looks wonderful! Chinese people also use a lot of cucumber in our cooking when it comes to Summer time, the cooling quality of the vegetable really helps when there are no air conditioning. Thank you for
    sharing!

    1. sissi Post author

      Thank you, Jeno. I eat cucumbers all year long and the yogurt really cools down the organism too. I almost don’t touch it in the Winter, but my organism craves it when it gets hot!

  3. Cooking Gallery

    This sounds so refreshing…! I love cucumber in salad or dip (such as Tzatziki) but I usually don’t know what to do with dill, so thanks for the recipe…:)!

    1. sissi Post author

      Thank you CG! It is very similar to tzatziki, but the dill changes everything. And thank you once more for the fantastic awards! I was so surprised! You have really made me happy!!!!

  4. Nami @ Just One Cookbook

    Hi Sissi, simple question…have you ever cook the same food? Haha. I mean you are amazing because you always have great curiosity over different kinds of food and ingredients. You are a true cook! You inspire us to try to cook something new. This salad is very new to me, but I like all the combination. Nothing so foreign about it when I look at the ingredients (maybe just dill?), yet the outcome is so foreign. I love it. I can eat this salad with simple nice warm bread. Thanks for sharing Sissi!

    1. sissi Post author

      Nami, thank you for the kind comment! I cook very often the same dishes… The problem is I am too curious and after several days of the usual dishes I start looking for something new. I have always been like this, but no reading beautiful blogs doesn’t help… I want to cook a different dish every other day 😉 Since I love cooking different cuisines, my kitchen cupboards simply overflow with different jars, bottles, herbs, spices. For example the best Japanese rice I can get here is sold only in 5 kg bags, and since I also cook Thai rice very often (the one I buy is sold also in 5 kg bags, imagine the volume I have to keep :-). Not to mention the fridge. I would love the one called in Europe “American fridge”, with double doors…. Then I could keep even ten big containers of miso at the same time!

    1. Sissi Post author

      Thank you so much, Kelly. Some Bulgarian dishes are vaguely similar to Greek ones. Finally they are not that far 😉 Chopped walnut adds a slight astringency I really love (apart from the obvious crunch).

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