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How to Make a Very Good Homemade Ajvar Recipe original from Serbia and Macedonia

Updated: Mar 2

  • Considering that Serbia and Macedonia are known for making homemade Ajvar, the amounts are an excellent recipe from Macedonia for a house where it is traditionally prepared. It is a splendid addition to meat and hamburgers, salads, as a spread, a very tasty and healthy original Serbian recipe. Follow recipies.

Ingredients for Ajvar:
  • 10 kg of red pepper

  • 3 large blue eggplants

  • 500 ml of oil are optional

  • 1 Tablespoon sugar

  • salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:
  1. Bake the paprika in the oven, immediately after baking, put it in plastic bags for a few minutes to soften it, which will make it easier to peel. When it cools down a bit, peel each paprika and clean it of seeds. Then put them in a large drainer or a mesh bag that you will attach to allow the paprika to drain (it takes at least 3 hours to squeeze). Roast the eggplants in the same way as the paprika, then keep them in the same bag as the peppers for a short time and then peel them and leave them to drain. Grind the drained peppers and eggplant on a hand-held meat grinder, then transfer everything to a large pot and put on low heat. Stir the mixture constantly during cooking, and gradually add 100 ml of oil every 20 minutes, stirring constantly because the oil must not come to the surface. The easiest way to check if the ajvar is ready is to cross the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon, after which a path should be created from the spoon, you can see the bottom of the pot. Add salt and sugar at the end, the last 20 minutes of cooking. Meanwhile, while the ajvar is cooking, you need to prepare the jars.

  2. Preheat clean jars in the oven to 50 °C and pour ajvar into them while they are still warm.

  3. Put a little oil on top of each filled jar and close with a lid, then leave it in a box and cover with a tablecloth. Leave them covered to cool gradually for 24 hours, then leave them in a cool, dark place.

Ingredients:
  • 10 kg of bell pepper

  • 3 kg of blue eggplant

  • 1 liter of sunflower oil

  • 5 cloves of garlic

  • 2 Tablespoons of sugar

  • 4–5 Tablespoons of salt (to taste)

  • 200 ml of alcoholic vinegar

  • 10 g preservative (optional)

Preparation:
  1. Wash the peppers and eggplant and dry them with a clean towel.

  2. Arrange the peppers on a baking sheet and put them in an oven heated to 225 °C.

  3. Bake until the skin of the pepper gets colored and starts to separate from the meat.

  4. Take out the roasted peppers, transfer them to a bowl and cover them with plastic film so that the skin can be separated from the fleshy part. Leave to cool for about half an hour.

  5. Arrange the eggplants on a baking sheet and place in the oven at 225 °C and bake for 30–40 minutes, until they take on color and soften.

  6. Transfer the baked eggplants to a bowl, cover them with foil, and let them cool for half an hour.

  7. After cooling, peel off the skin and seeds.

  8. Place the cleaned peppers in a colander to squeeze out excess water and make the ajvar thicker. Do the same with the eggplants.

  9. Place about 600 ml of sunflower oil in a large saucepan and allow the oil to heat over a moderate heat.

  10. In the meantime, grind the peppers and eggplants in a meat grinder or chop them in a grinder.

  11. Put the ground peppers and eggplants in the heated oil and stir so that they don't burn.

  12. When the ajvar starts to cook, add the finely chopped garlic and continue to stir. Depending on the amount of ingredients, it will be necessary to cook and mix the ajvar for about 1.5–2.5 hours.

  13. When the ajvar becomes thick (it will take about 45 minutes), add sugar, stir, then add salt. Less at first, then add more as needed.

  14. Add the alcohol vinegar and mix again, then add the preservative if desired and continue to mix.

  15. After 60–90 minutes, the ajvar should be of good thickness. Take some with a spoon on a plate and taste, optionally add salt or sugar.

  16. Fill pre-sterilized, hot jars with hot ajvar, cover with a cloth or towel and let them cool to room temperature, then store them in a dark and cool place.

Ajvar without preservatives
  • If you only like peppers and avoid eggplant, here's a recipe for ajvar with just peppers, garlic, spices, and oil. No preservative is added to this recipe, and you will get about 5 kg of ajvar, while cooking will require 4–5 hours of your time.

Ingredients:
  • 10 kg of red horn peppers

  • 1 liter of oil

  • 5 cloves of garlic

  • 2 Tablespoons of sugar

  • 4–5 Tablespoons of salt (to taste)

  • 200 ml of alcoholic vinegar

Preparation:
  1. Wash the peppers and dry them with a clean towel.

  2. Arrange peppers on a baking sheet and place in an oven heated to 225 °C, and bake until the skin of the pepper darkens and begins to separate from the meat.

  3. Take them out, transfer them to a bowl and cover them with plastic wrap so that the skin can be separated from the fleshy part more easily and let it cool for about half an hour.

  4. When the peppers have cooled, clean them from the skin and seeds, put them in a colander to drain the excess liquid and make the ajvar thicker.

  5. Place about 600 ml of oil in a large saucepan and heat over medium heat.

  6. Grind the peppers in a meat grinder or chop them into small pieces, put them in the heated oil and stir so that they don't burn.

  7. When the ajvar starts to cook, add the finely chopped garlic and continue to stir. Depending on the amount of paprika, it will be necessary to cook and stir the ajvar for about 1.5–2.5 hours.

  8. When the ajvar thickens (about 45 minutes), add sugar, mix, and then add salt. At first less, and later try ajvar and optionally add more.

  9. Add the alcoholic vinegar and mix again.

  10. After 60–90 minutes, the ajvar should be of good thickness. Take some ajvar on a plate and taste it and add salt or sugar to taste.

  11. Fill pre-sterilized, hot jars with hot ajvar and add a little oil almost to the top of the jar, close them and cover them with a cloth or towel and let them cool, then store them.

Use in the kitchen

  • Ajvar with preservative, stored in sterilized jars, can be stored in a dry and dark place for about 12 months. The same goes for the fridge.

  • In ajvar without preservatives, add 1 cm of oil to the top of the ajvar and pasteurize it after closing the jar. In this way, you can store ajvar in the refrigerator or in a dark and cool place for 9–12 months without it spoiling.

  • Store an opened jar of ajvar in the refrigerator and eat it within a few days.

  • Ajvar can be eaten with all salty dishes. Although it is usually eaten as a side dish with meat, the possibilities of combining dishes with ajvar are really many.

  • The delicious thick texture, rich and distinctive taste make it a perfect spread on bread. It goes well with sausages, kebabs and grilled meat, baked potatoes and can be used as a substitute for ketchup.

  • It also goes well with vegetables. Raw, cooked, baked flavors of vegetables combined with ajvar and a little tasty cheese will be enough for a delicious meal. If you eat nachos with ajvar, you get Balkan guacamole.

  • It is a common ingredient for enriching dishes, and if you combine traditional ajvar with an Italian specialty — pasta, you will get a real wealth of Mediterranean flavors. It goes well with all tomato-based sauces, and for extra flavor add some oregano, dill, sage, and basil.

  • Use the contact form for questions or advice.

  • I would be happy if you would comment on my recipes and put like.

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