Condiments | Ajvar (red pepper sauce)

ALBANIA KOSOVO NORTH MACEDONIA SERBIA

Red pepper sauce with Balkan bagel burgers


Once used as a main food dish, these days this red pepper sauce is a condiment.

When the peppers are in season, they are carefully selected for their firmness, cooked in bulk and stored in jars for use through the year.

Kurtovka, a meaty paprika pepper with a low water content, is the preferred choice. Long red peppers can be used but their water content is high.

The peppers are roasted, blended, soaked in oil for half an hour, then gradually heated and simmered for four to five hours. Near the end of cooking a splash of vinegar and a 2:1 ratio of sugar to salt is added.

For 50 peppers, about 5 kilos, 200 ml of oil is needed, two teaspoons of vinegar, one tablespoons of sugar and about one to two teaspoons of salt.

Some versions include crushed garlic.

This quantity is for immediate use.

  • 1 kg paprika peppers / red horn peppers, washed, dried, roasted, skin and seeds removed
  • 60 ml vegetable oil
  • 1 hot pepper, washed, dried, roasted, skin and seeds removed (optional) / 5 g paprika flakes
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed, mashed (optional)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 splash grape vinegar / wine vinegar
  • Salt, pinch

This is the coarse method.

Put the peppers, garlic, oil and vinegar into a pot, bring heat to medium-high, cook for 15 minutes to release the water in the peppers.

Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 3 hours, stirring occasionally.

Add sugar and a pinch of salt, simmer for an hour.

When there is no liquid left in the sauce it is ready.


Indigenous Ingredients

Paprika Peppers / Red Horn Peppers