AJVAR RECIPE: Balkan bell peppers dip - all you need to know!
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: Serbian
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
  • 6 red bell peppers
  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1.5 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1.5 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • to taste chili powder
  • to taste table salt
  1. BAKING/GRILLING THE VEGETABLESHere, you have two different options: the oven or the BBQ grill.BBQ GRILL - first, stabilize the BBQ grill temperature to 450 - 480° F (230-250° C), operating half of the burners. Then, place the peppers and eggplants on the half of the grill over the turned off burners (indirect grilling). Rotate of 90 degrees the vegetables every 15 minutes until soft and perfectly browned.OVEN ROASTED - In case you prefer to use the oven, follow this step. First, pre-heat the oven to 480° F (250° C). Then, place the eggplant and peppers over a tray lined with parchment paper, and bake, rotating of 90 degrees the vegetables every 15 minutes until soft and perfectly browned.
  2. EGGPLANT AND PEPPERS MIXTUREWhatever the method you choose, once ready, place the peppers as soon as possible into sealed plastic storage bags for about 15 minutes: this will simplify the peeling. Meanwhile, cut the eggplant into halves and scoop out the pulp. Now, peel the peppers and discard the seeds and the stems. Finally, chop the vegetable pulps and pass through a meat grinder or a vegetable mill.
  3. AJVAR SAUCEAt this point, peel and mince the cloves of garlic. Then, pour 4 tbsp of vegetable oil into a saucepan along with the sugar. Place the pan over medium heat and melt the sugar, then add the garlic and sautè a couple of minutes. At this point, add the chili powder, as much as you want your Ajvar spicy, and the ground pepper and eggplant. Raise the flame and add the vinegar; keep cooking on high heat for a couple of minutes. Finally, low the flame to minimum, add the rest of vegetable oil, cover vid a lid, and cook slowly about 2 hours, stirring occasionally.Once ready, add salt to taste and stir well.
  4. STORING AND SERVINGPour the Ajvar into jars and store in the fridge up to 5 days. Alternatively, you can sterilize the jars and store for a more extended time: in this case, I strongly recommend to follow the USDA canning rules to avoid any foodborne risks.Serve Ajvar cold or at room temperature, along with toasted bread slice, grilled meats, or fish.
Recipe by philosokitchen at https://philosokitchen.com/ajvar-recipe-peppers-relish/