OK, it’s not supposed to be cottage cheese. Körözött is a Hungarian cheese spread that’s made with fresh túró (a.k.a farmer’s cheese). Traditionally, körözött was made using sheep’s milk túró though nowadays most Hungarians will make it out of cow’s milk cheese.
It is often served as an appetizer or snack, but you could definitely make a light meal out of it.
I only ever had körözött at my mother-in-law’s place. Her körözött is simply made with túró, a dash of sour cream, paprika and garlic. A lot of garlic. You know when something has so much garlic it’s actually spicy? So for the longest time I thought a main ingredient in Hungarian körözött was, naturally, garlic.
A recent google search found near no recipes matching körözött and garlic. It turns out the “traditional” recipe, in fact, uses no garlic. (I suspect this might be a case of varying culinary traditions between different provinces). Instead it adds onion and caraway seeds. I’m not the biggest fan of caraway seeds. But using them in this recipe makes me feel like I’m eating out. It’s kind of awesome. Caraway seeds give me the fennel effect – something I’d never cook with so it tastes like gourmet restaurant food.
Making Hungarian cottage cheese dip the traditional way, with caraway seeds, lends for a very sublime and delicate flavor. It’s not intrusive like the garlic version. But I’m not going to lie, I think I prefer my mother-in-law’s version, so I’ll add a little note in the recipe.
Cottage cheese is a great choice for snacks and breakfasts as it contains a lotta’ protein. But when we think cottage cheese our mind mostly just pairs it with granola. Or fruit. In this recipe I substitute cottage cheese for the farmer’s cheese (túró) that’s pretty hard to find in the U.S. The result is a great way to enjoy cottage cheese. Savory and filling without the added sugars.
- 1 cup cottage cheese*
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- ½ scallion, finely chopped (you can also use purple onion)
- 2 tablespoons yoghurt*
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- caraway seeds, to taste
- freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Mix all ingredients in a medium/small bowl and serve with bread, crackers or, in the Hungarian fashion, with fresh cucumber and bell peppers.
2. I used sheep's milk yoghurt, which gives it a creamy, sour touch. You can use cow's milk yoghurt, kefir or sour cream.
OPTIONAL: you can forgo the scallion and caraway seeds and double up on the garlic for my mother-in-law's version. It's a delicious, spicier alternative!