Tarama is the cured eggs of either carp fish, grey mullet or cod. In Greece, we have two types of Tarama. The one we call the White one, which is, in fact, a yellowish one and the Pink one. Authentic Tarama is originally white (yellowish), but pink color is added to it, only to make it look more eye-catching. The flavor in both types is exactly the same.
The Tarama And The Greek Traditions
The Greek Tarama Dip is made using either potatoes or bread as a base, lemon juice, olive oil, and sometimes onion or almonds. It’s a favorite Greek Meze, that goes perfectly with Ouzo. And one of the highlight dishes during the Greek Lent and Clean Monday. Too much Greek stuff in one paragraph? Don’t worry I’ll explain each one in the text below…
The Greek Tarama Dip Recipe
First of all, the recipe for Greek Tarama Dip that I’m sharing here is made using Pink Tarama and boiled potatoes as a base. I also use onion, lemon, olive oil and a bit of vinegar. It’s a soft and velvety dip in texture and has a salty, slightly fishy taste. If you like fish and seafood dishes, then you’re going to like Tarama as well. The onion and lemon are what gives this dip a flavor boost and also makes it pretty addictive. On the day of the Clean Monday, I can eat half a kilo of this stuff just by myself. But what’s Clean Monday?
Clean Monday, is the first day of the Greek Lent, which lasts for 40 days until Pascha (Easter). During these days, the people who follow the lent do not consume meat, dairy, olive oil, and fish. Seafood like mussels, octopus, and squid, for example, are allowed since they do not contain blood in their bodies.
In older times, where people were a lot more religious, Greek Lent was followed by many. Today, most people just follow the lent only during the day of the Clean Monday, and during the last week before Easter. The last week before Easter is what we call the Long week since it’s the week that the suffering and death of Christ takes place. But that’s all with the religious stuff and time to move to another Traditional Greek topic, MEZEEEE!
A Traditional Greek Meze
Like I said in the text above I’m going to explain every Greek thing I mentioned. So, Greek Tarama Dip (Taramosalata) is a favorite Greek Meze. Meze is what we call in Greece the different small plates, that are served along with alcohol (Traditionally Ouzo) prior to the main meal (in most cases lunch). Meze plates are usually dips, spreads, marinated fish, and seafood, or even cheese. A Meze plate usually contains vinegar, garlic or lemon in order to be appetizing and make you really hungry for the main meal.
Ok, I hope I explained everything well enough. Truth is, when it comes to Greek Traditions there is A LOT to be said. And well…, sometimes they may all sound ehm, like Greek to you 😛 All in all, just keep in mind that Greek Taramosalata is a delicious, appetizing and a bit of addictive dip. Oh, and don’t forget to buy some bread for it 🙂
- 3 medium-sized potatoes
- 1/2 small onion
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 lemon juiced
- 3 tablespoons carp roe (Tarama)
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- Peel and cut the potatoes into small pieces.
- Boil the potatoes along with a tiny bit of salt (do not add too much because the carp roe is salty enough) until they become very soft.
- In a food processor, add the remaining ingredients and blend until a paste forms.
- Add the potatoes in the food proseccor and blend ass well. Add some of the water of which you boiled the potatoes in, until a very soft fluffy mash forms.
- Refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.