Ajvar is type of relish made of red peppers and garlic. It comes from Serbian cuisine but most of the people on the Balcan prepare it and it is Balcan traditional food. It could have several different tastes depending on the ingredients we put in it. Mostly it could be sweet, piquant, or very hot.
It is served as a salad or side dish but also it is consumed as a bread spread. Ajvar could be bough from store but because of the loss off the taste and bad cooking it is of low quality. Home made ajvar is better in taste and healthiness.
Ajvar on the Balcan is mostly made before the winter as a “zimnica” (winter food) and is mixed will all kinds of vegetables that could fit in a jar. It is consumed through the winter.
The ingredients needed for preparing ajvar are following:
– 100 red peppers
– 2-3 bottles of frying oil
– 3 teaspoons vinegar
– bowl of salt
– 3 eggplants
– 5 garlic
– big wooden spoon
– couple of clean jars
We begin by cleaning and baking the red peppers. The peppers are baked from both side, it is recommended to bake them outside. After that they are put in some pot until they cool off. After that we continue cleaning the peppers by removing their crust and other non eatable parts like the handles and the seeds. The peppers without the crust are once more cleaned in water. Once that is done they are left for one day to dry out. Same is done with the eggplants.
The next day we start grinding them in meat grind machine. We grind the eggplant and the cleaned and chopped down garlic also. We mix everything and prepare for baking. We pour the grinded mixture into big pot which is smeared with frying oil. After that we pour some oil on top of the grinded pepper mixture and we put some lid on top of the pot and wait for 15 minutes. And we start the frying process.
We fry the ajvar on very high temperature after it boils we fry it 2 more hours and while it is frying we mix it with the big wooden spoon. When you notice wide mark left while mixing with the spoon then you know the ajvar is done.
When the ajvar is done we should try it up and add more salt if it’s needed. We get few hot sterilized jars. When you fill up the jars you should watch to leave at least 1cm of space. The filled up jars should be left aside to cool off. Then we pour some oil on top of the jar , but we don’t have to and after that we close the jars with proper lid very tight.
Then we cover the filled jars with some cloth and leave them to stay for one day. The next day we place them in some dry place accessible at any time.