The main ingredient of körözött was originally Liptauer or liptói túró, a sheep-milk based cheese. Liptó was a county of Hungary until the end of WWI. Liptó got disannexed from Hungary in 1919, and now it’s part of Slovakia. Though we lost Liptó, we never stopped eating körözött.
In our days körözött is made with ship’s milk cheese, or sheep’s milk cheese and cottage cheese fifty-fifty, but there are many who just use cottage cheese. If you choose sheep’s milk cheese, don’t add salt because it’s salty enough to make a tasty spread. Main spices are caraway seeds that give its unique taste and sweet ground paprika that turns its colour into nice orange. To make the cheese spread soft and smooth, it’s necessary to combine with butter or sour cream.
- 250 g (~9 oz) cottage cheese or sheep milk cheese
- 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
- 1 tsp ground paprika
- 1/2 tsp ground caraway seeds
- 1/2 tsp salt (in case of cottage cheese)
- a pinch of freshly ground black pepper
- 80 g (~1/3 cup) butter
- 1 heaping tbsp sour cream
In a small bowl blend cheese with the butter and sour cream. Add the chopped onion, paprika, salt, pepper and the caraway seeds. Mix to combine them. Chill for 3 to 4 hours so flavours can merge. Spread the körözött on bread or a crusty bun, or it can be even filled in tomato peppers.