Garlicky Fish Roe Purée


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Classic Turkish Cooking

By Ghillie Basan

Published 1995

  • About

A dish from the common Turkish-Greek culinary pool, tarama is best made fresh using the sticky smoked roe of grey mullet. Cod’s roe works as a good alternative. It is delicious served with strips of cucumber sprinkled with salt or chunks of beyaz peynir rubbed in olive oil and dried oregano and grilled.


  • 6 oz/175 g smoked fish roe, skinned
  • 3 slices stale bread, crusts removed
  • 3—4 fl oz/100-125 ml milk or water
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed with salt
  • 6-8 tablespoons olive oil
  • juice of 1-2 lemons
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • Soak the bread in the milk or water. Pound the fish roe to reduce the gritty texture. Squeeze the bread dry and add to the roe with the garlic. Pound together to a smooth paste (or blend in an electric mixer). Gradually beat in the oil and lemon juice, adding more or less to personal taste, and season with the salt and pepper. Work the mixture into a pale creamy paste. Serve with warm or toasted bread.