Balkan chutney or original “Ajvar” recipe

This recipe is traditional Balkan food with many variations.  Almost each part of Balkan have its own version of chutney (ajvar).

Eggplants (Balkan chutney)

Bake eggplants and peppers in the oven. Remove skin and seeds while they are hot. Chop them finely or mince them. Salt, add pepper and crushed garlic (optional). Add lemon juice or vinegar to taste,  and as much oil as the vegetables can absorb.  Mix well.  Put into a deep glass dish and garmush wth parsley.

Baked green peppers (Balkan chutney)

Ajvar is an easily and quickly prepared.  Bake large green peppers in the oven,  475 F. Put them in a dish and cover with a cloth.  Let them stand for 10 minutes and then while still warm,  remove the skins carefully,  without removing the stems.  Put them in a colander to cool and drain.  Place them in a deep glass dish. Pour oil and vinegar (preferably wine vinegar).  Some people add very finely chopped garlic.


Baked pappers with horseradish (Balkan chutney)

Bake fat round peppers,  which resemble tomatoes in shape, in the oven,  475 F. Salt, place in a dish and let them stand for 12 hours to drain. Coarsely grate horseradish. Put peppers and grated horseradish, bay leaves (one to each layer of horseradish). In a glass jar, add the juice which has drained from the peppers.  Do not fill the jar.  Leave about 2 inches space.  Add vinegar.  Let peppers stand 7-10 days until the process of fermentation is completed. The number of days this will take depends upon the temperature of the room in which the peppers are kept. After that, salt  peppers, add vinegar,  and finely chopped onion (optional).  Pour oil on. Cover with wax paper and tie tightly.

Before serving ajvar, remove skins from peppers, wash them and pour oil over them.

Ingredients for all:
2 big eggplants
6-8 large green peppers
4 red peppers
1 clove garlic
juice of 1 lemon or vinegar
1/2 cup oil


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