Ajvar is a tasty sauce made from roasted peppers and aubergine. Make your own version very easily with the help of this simple recipe.
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Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Line a baking tray with baking parchment.
Wash 1 kilo of large red Romano peppers and 2 aubergines. Cut the peppers in half and remove the seeds. Place the peppers with the flat side down on the baking tray.
Cut the 2 aubergines in half and remove the crown. Place them flat-side down on the baking tray.
Place the tray of peppers and aubergines in the oven and bake until the peppers blister and start to blacken. Remove the tray from the oven and place the peppers and aubergines in a large bowl.
Peel 4 cloves of garlic and place them amongst the hot peppers and aubergines. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave to cool to room temperature for at least an hour.
After an hour the peppers and aubergines will be really soft; you can then easily peel off the skin.
Add the peppers, aubergines, garlic cloves and a small red pepper to a food processor. Add a dash of sunflower oil and puree the ajvar until quite smooth. The ajvar does not need to be 100% smooth; it should retain some texture.
Add the ajvar to a frying pan and leave it to thicken, without a lid on the pan, for around 45 minutes over low heat. Stir regularly, taste and season with salt and pepper.
The ajvar can be stored in a clean and sterile glass jar. Enjoy!
What do you use ajvar for?
Ajvar is an ideal and aromatic accompaniment to crispy baked or grilled vegetables. You can also serve it with grilled meat to enhance the flavour.
Ajvar is also delicious in a toasted cheese sandwich. Ajvar is often served with Cevapcici.
Where does ajvar come from?
Originally, ajvar comes from Macedonia in the Balkans. You can also find ajvar in Serbia and Slovakia.
What does ajvar mean?
The name "ajvar" comes from the Turkish word "havyar", which means "salted fish roe" or "caviar". Over time, ajvar has become a cheaper alternative to caviar, being called "red ajvar" (crveni ajvar) or "Serbian ajvar" (srpski ajvar).
Can I also use regular red peppers?
Of course. Romano peppers are slightly sweeter but regular red peppers will do just as well!