Tarator, the Albanian answer for rough mornings

Tarator, an easy hangover cure from Albania.

Tarator, an easy hangover cure from Albania.

We already gave you some tips and tricks to get rid of your hangover. But every country has its own traditional dishes to make the process go faster. We like to give you a taste of the international anti-hangover cuisine. This time we bring you a typical dish from Albania called tarator. It’s a traditional cold soup with yoghurt, garlic and cucumber as the main ingredients. With some beers or rakia next to it this is a highly effective way to get back in shape fast.

Since we started this section of international hangover cures with żurek from Poland in October 2012 we have been searching for a hangover cure from Albania. As they are solid drinkers from the Balkans we could not imagine them not having one. Still all the Albanians we asked gave a unanimous answer: “Just drink more rakija.” Great advice no doubt but we didn’t want to give up our search that easy. Until we stumbled on a blog called Thee Albania. Besides beautiful pictures of Albanian cities and landscapes we saw a dish that we suspected could be a great hangover cure called tarator. This helpful blogger confirmed that this yoghurt soup was indeed a great medicine for party people and provided us with a recipe. Since we don’t want people to confuse this Albanian dish with tarator as it is prepared in other countries in South Eastern Europe or Greek tzatziki we added a typical traditional beef sausage called suxhuk.

Like most countries on the Balkan peninsula the national strong drink in Albania is rakia. Every family has at least one person that makes it himself and the percentages of alcohol easily go up to 60, 70 or even higher, forcing a lot of less experienced drinkers to mix it with water before they drink it. Besides that Albanians produce some nice beers and wines, while they also don’t avoid foreign drinks like whisky or vodka. Basically if you visit this country: bring your A-game or you will suffer. On the other hand there’s no better opportunity to test the cure called tarator. So gezuar!

500 mililiter kos a.k.a. Albanian yoghurt (otherwise use normal yoghurt)
1 normal sized cucumber
4 cloves of garlic
olive oil
Can of water
150 gram suxhuk sausage

Put the kos in a large bowl and mix it with water till you have a smooth mix. Cut up the unpealed cucumber in little pieces and add them to the bowl. Cut the garlic cloves up really small and throw them in too. Make sure you stir your mix well. Add salt to taste and stir again.
Now cut up the suxhuk sausage and fry them in some olive oil. When cooled down again, add to the bowl. Tarator is a summerdish and therefor best served cold. If you are a vegetarian you can also use crushed walnuts or fried zuchini slices instead of meat. Another popular ingredient for tarator is dill. Basically you can make it anyway you like, so don’t be afraid to experiment a little. Enjoy!

Micky Bumbar

Check out more tasty hangover cures from around the world

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