Tarator (Cucumber-Yoghurt Soup)

Tarator is one of Bulgaria’s most well-known dishes. Served cold and made with yoghurt, cucumbers, walnuts, garlic, and dill, it is a simple recipe yielding fabulous flavor.

Although tarator traditionally appears on the summer dining table in Bulgaria, I make it year-round. The ingredients are easy to come by, and once you have them, you are only about ten minutes away from a delicious bowl of refreshing tarator. No cooking required!

What you’ll need:

2 cups plain yoghurt (Bulgarian or Greek would be best)
1 cup cold water
1 large cucumber
2 cloves fresh garlic
2 Tbsp fresh dill (or 1 Tbsp dry dill)
1/3 cup walnuts
1 Tbsp olive oil
salt to taste

Yields about four servings. Unless you are like me and can eat all of it in one sitting. In that case, you may want to double or triple the recipe if you are expecting guests.


Everything you need to make tarator.

Step 1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the yoghurt and water until smooth.


The idea of watery yoghurt wasn’t appealing to me when I first learned about tarator. But then I tasted it!

Step 2. Dice the cucumber. You may wish to peel it first; I only peel mine if the peeling is waxy. Add it to the bowl.


Some Bulgarians prefer to shred the cucumber so that it is softer. Either way will do!

Step 3. Coarsely chop the walnuts. Add them to the mix.


If you are allergic to walnuts, simply omit them from the recipe. Tarator is still delicious without them.

Step 4. Chop the dill and add it to the bowl. I prefer to use fresh dill, so long as it’s available. If you are using dry dill, remember that it will be stronger than fresh dill, so you won’t need as much.


In the summer, you can find fresh dill in just about everything in Bulgaria… and in Latvia, too!

Step 5. Finely chop the garlic and add it in. Better yet, crush it through a garlic press.


Since the garlic is raw, the taste will be quite strong. Feel free to use more or less, depending on your taste.

Step 6. Blend everything together in the bowl, and add the olive oil and salt. Your tarator is ready! Serve as a stand-alone meal, or alongside something else. Enjoy!


I love me some tarator with a piece of banitsa (Bulgarian cheese pie)!

2 thoughts on “Tarator (Cucumber-Yoghurt Soup)

  1. Hi Deena, this recipe sounds delicious!! I am going to try it this weekend. Although the banitsa looks extremely delicious with the soup, I will not have it to eat with my soup. I am planning to enjoy it anyway because I love cucumbers.

    Thanks for sharing!



    • Thank so much, Ms. Barbara! I hope you enjoy it. I have the recipe for the banitsa posted as well, if you would like to try it. It’s a bit more complicated than the soup, but so delicious! You can find it under “Eat” and then “Recipes”. I hope you are well!


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