Goulash, a gastronomic symbol.

Goulash is a dish of Hungarian origin that has become one of the symbols of Budapest’s gastronomy. It is a meat and vegetable stew, especially onion, bell pepper and potato, seasoned with paprika, the ingredient that gives it its characteristic reddish color and spicy flavor.

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History of goulash

The origins of this dish date back to the Middle Ages, when the nomadic shepherds of the Hungarian steppes cooked the meat of their flocks in large metal pots over the fire. The name goulash comes from the Hungarian word gulyás, meaning shepherd.


It is a simple, homemade meal with few pieces of meat. However, it requires a long cooking time. Over time, the dish spread throughout the country and new ingredients were incorporated, such as paprika, which arrived in Europe from America in the 16th century.


This is how a great variety of goulash can be found today, depending on the region.

Typical dishes from Hungary

Typical goulash recipe

The recipe for goulash may vary according to region, season and personal taste, but there are some basic elements that cannot be missed.


The meat is usually beef, although pork, lamb or even horse can also be used. Cut into small pieces and sauté with chopped onion until golden brown.


Then add the paprika, salt, pepper and water or broth, and simmer until the meat is tender. Add the vegetables cut into large pieces, such as bell pepper, potato, carrot or tomato, and continue cooking until done. At the end, the sauce can be thickened with flour or sour cream.


At the moment of serving it is presented in deep plates, accompanied by white or rye bread. It can also be eaten with pasta, rice or potato dumplings. It is undoubtedly a simple but tasty dish that reflects the tradition and culture of Hungary.

Typical dishes of Budapest

Dishes similar to goulash

For goulash lovers who tried this dish for the first time and want to experience the sensation of traveling without leaving home, here are some recipes to recreate that have similar ingredients.

Starting with veal stew with beer, a typical Belgian dish prepared with veal, onion, carrot, bay leaf, thyme, mustard, brown sugar and dark beer. Simmer until the meat is tender and the sauce is thickened. It is usually served with french fries or mashed potatoes.

Following with the traditional Hungarian pork pörkölt which resembles goulash, but is made with pork, onion, garlic, paprika, cumin, salt and pepper. Cook in a pot with a little water until the meat is done and the sauce is reduced. It is usually accompanied with nokedli, small gnocchi made of flour and egg.

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