Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Traditional Bosnian Ajvar Recipe (Red Pepper and Eggplant Chutney)

Ajvar is a traditional food here in Bosnia, even though it is known throughout the region. It's a chutney made out of red piquillo peppers (those intensely red and sweet Spanish peppers) and eggplant, both of which are roasted. This is usually used as a spread on bread, or alongside meat like chicken or steak. I love it, and it's not that hard to make you just have to follow the steps and have some free time on your hands (this is perfect for weekends, and makes a lot). Now peppers are in season here, and we can get them by the caseload. Once you make this, there will be no going back. Ajvar keeps well in the fridge for a couple of weeks, and this is a completely organic version that doesn't use any preservatives.

Bosnian Ajvar Recipe

Ingredients
(read recipe to get measurements)
- Red Piquillo Peppers (called "Roga" here in Bosnia)
- Eggplants
- Garlic, minced
- Olive Oil
- Salt
- Pepper
- Chili powder (optional)



1. Roast the cleaned and dried peppers and eggplants in the oven, no oil needed, under moderate high heat (I roast them 220C/425F), for 35-40 minutes (or until fork tender), or until they are soft. Once the peppers are cooled a bit, peel their skin and remove stems and seeds and put the meat of the peppers into a bowl (Tip: once the peppers come out of the oven, put them in a bowl and cover it with cling film, after 10 minutes uncover and you can peel the skin easier). Remove the flesh from the roasted eggplants as well.




2. Now you need to mince/blitz the flesh from the peppers and eggplant. I use the meat mincer attachment on my free standing mixer, but you can also use a food processor.


3. In a thick bottom saucepan (the size will depend on the amount you are making) heat a bit of olive oil, place the minced peppers and eggplant and stir. Add the minced garlic, salt and pepper (optionally you can add the chili powder) and the remainder of olive oil. Don't be alarmed if the oil doesn't incorporate immediately, just keep stirring gently and it will fold in.




44.44 Cook it in the saucepan until it comes to a boil, then for a good three hours (even four if you have the time) on low heat, stirring frequently. Of course the cooking time will depend on the amount you are making. It needs to cook down by a third.

5. Place it glass jars and keep in in the fridge. I put the glass jars through the dishwasher first before using them. Once you fill the Ajvar in the jars you can top them off with a small layer of olive oil so it will keep longer. Use up within a month.

For comparison, I used 20 peppers and 5 eggplants, 2 cups of olive oil (this is minimum, most people use more on this amount, but it will be eaten quickly in out household, so it doesn't need to hold long), 2 minced cloves of garlic, salt and pepper to taste and not chili powder. I cooked the Ajvar for 3 hours on low heat. This is really a recipe where you go by eye and vary the ingredients to your taste.




I hope you will enjoy this traditional Bosnian recipe, we make it a lot here during late summer, early autumn. Even though you can get it in stores here, the taste of homemade Ajvar can't be beaten!

34 comments:

  1. Now ths sound delicious Mersad and your phptpgraph is excellent.

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  2. I'd never heard of this. I'd love to try it sometime.
    Thanks for linking up at http://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2015/09/nighttime-paddle-on-jordan-lake.html

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  3. I'm wondering if this is what I raved over during one vacation in your part of the world. It was served on baked potato and tasted wonderful.

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    Replies
    1. Could be it. It's very popular here and served in restaurants as well.

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  4. Super Rezept, das wollte ich eh schon mal längst machen. Ich benutze es schon ewig und hab bisher immer fertig gekauft, weil ich zu faul war! Dein erstes Bild ist der Knaller! Und sag mal ist da ne schwarze Katze drauf ;-)??? GlG Anne

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    Replies
    1. Musst Du unbedingt mal machen. Das geht bei uns so schnell weg! Und nein, das ist keine Katze, sah aber so aus. :) Habs jetzt ein bisschen korrigiert.

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    2. Hahaha und ich dachte schon Beni hat ne Freundin.

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  5. Oops Mersad.... you make me want to taste that..... my husband to... we like spicy things and this seems spicy and delicious!


    Have a nice ABC-week and day
    ♫ Mel☺dy ♫ (abc-w-team)

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    Replies
    1. These red peppers used here are sweet, not spicy, but you can add red pepper flakes or chill powder to make is hot and spicy. There are many varieties on it.

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  6. Hello Mersad, your Ajvar sounds and looks delicious. Thank you for sharing the recipe. Enjoy your day!

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  7. Lecker schaut es aus. Ich liebe Aubergine. Aber scheint viel Arbeit zu sein (aus der Schale auszukratzen). Liebe Grüße

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    1. Die Aubergine aus der Schale zu kriegen geht am leichtesten. Die sind ja gebraten vorher und dadurch kann man die Schale schenll wegkriegen.

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  8. I can't eat hot things, but I can and did enjoy all the photos of your hot recipe. beautiful photos.. you have so many talents..

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    Replies
    1. It's not a hot dish at all. The red peppers used here are sweet, like bell peppers.

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  9. I really love ajvar. Thank you for recipe. I'll try it

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  10. It looks delicious, Mersad. Is juicy your word for this week? Thanks for your recipy. I grew up in Indonesia and I am used to all kind of peppers and paprikas.
    Have a great week,
    Wil, ABCW Team.

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    Replies
    1. Yes it is Wil. Thanks for visiting

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  11. It's fun to learn about popular foods from other countries! Thanks for the information and recipe.

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  12. What do you serve it with? It looks delish!

    Leslie
    abcw team

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    Replies
    1. You can use it as a sandwich spread, with vegetables, on the side of chicken or steak. It goes well with cheese as well. You can find many purposes for it.

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  13. That sounds tasty and looks so good.

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  14. Yammi....das schaut superlecker aus und ein tolles Rezept. Danke dir dafür!! Die werde ich mal nachmachen denn ich mag Mojos und Chutneys sehr gerne. Mache ich ja auch immer selbst, aber halt die Canarischen. Bin überzeugt die Deine schmeckt auch super.

    Liebe Grüsse

    N☼va

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  15. I pinned it so I can try it later. It does look delicious!!! Have a grand weekend!

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  16. This looks and sounds delicious. Two things I like: peppers and eggplant.

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  17. I'm positive you are a talented cook, this looks so tasty. I'm sure its great with crusted toast.
    Ann

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  18. It looks delicious. Will have to try it with some crostini. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

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  19. This looks perfect for all the peppers I have right now! I'll try it.

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  20. It sounds and looks yummy. Thanks for sharing your recipe.
    The View from the Top of the Ladder

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  21. I like ajvar, Mersad. I fin it in middle eastern markets here in Colorado. I use it as a dip and as a sandwich spread. Your photos are so bright and colorful. I enjoyed seeing how you made your ajvar.

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  22. We love these kinds of spreads! I've tried various Italian type tapenade, but this one looks lovely, too! Love the bright images!

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  23. Looks wonderful! I'm passing this on to my son-in-law who is a chef!

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