In the heat that is currently engulfing Hungary, people are less likely to have the motivation for cooking, and others probably do not even want to eat warm foods. This körözött recipe is for those people, as well as those needing a refreshing and creative spread for their garden parties.
Translation by Tamás Vaski
I know I have introduced many of these articles this way, but that is, after all, what this column is all about: if I needed to give the spotlight to any one spread in the Hungarian kitchen, I would definitely give it to körözött.
Körözött is so emblematically Hungarian, (the red, white, and green tricolor can even be found in it if one adds enough green onion) that if a person asks for a Hungarian-tasting dish at any inn or restaurant around the country, it is practically a given that it will come with körözött.
Foreign gastrobloggers are now beginning to discover it, and without question calling attention to the dish’s Hungarianness. After all, it is a fundamentally unique and distinguishing feature in modern gastronomy that Hungarian foods present “túró” in both its salty and sweet forms. What better proof of this than for the fact that there is essentially no proper translation for our túró, since the typical English cottage cheese does not exactly fit the description of its Hungarian counterpart.
Internationally it usually runs on the name Liptauer, which originates from the túró of Liptó. According to the legend, Liptó, located in today’s Slovakia, was the place where the dish was first prepared.
Most sources say that the Hungarian name refers to the mixing of all its different ingredients, as one would describe the action in traditional Hungarian, “körözik.”
Originally it was the favored delicacy of shepherds and ranchers. They ate túró so often that they had become pretty bored of it, and began spicing it up with peppers, onions, and sour cream. It has many different variations, some where capers or even beer are added to the mix.
- 250 g “rögös túró” (Hungarian lumpy cottage cheese)
- 4 tablespoons sour cream
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Half a red onion
- 1 teaspoon ground sweet paprika
- Half a teaspoon ground caraway (if it is a favorite spice, add the seeds themselves)
Mix the sour cream and butter in a bowl, then crumble the túró into it. Stir them all together until creamy.
Peel the red onion and chop it into the smallest pieces possible, then add it to the túró cream. Sprinkle it with the paprika, ground caraway, salt, pepper, then mix it thoroughly. Leave it in the fridge for a few hours. Körözött is best served with fresh vegetables and used as a spread on bread.
Photos and featured photo by Péter Csákvári/Hungary Today