Friday, 19 December 2014


Adjika, the Russian red pesto

This cooked Russian condiment (aджика) is sweet and sour at the same time. It is used to flavor food. I love it as a spread on sourdough bread. Heavenly! I can eat a whole jar at one sitting if I am not careful. It is difficult to stop once you've started. One slice follows another and the jar gets empty in a blink of an eye.

My grandmother gave me this recipe. The exact origin is unclear. Grandfather had good few Russian friends and colleagues, it must have been one of them who shared this fantastic recipe with our family.

You will need (for the ORIGINAL recipe):
0.5 l oil
2 kg red bell peppers
1 kg carrots
1 kg apples
0.5 kg tomatoes
0.2 kg garlic
0.2 kg sugar
0.2 l vinegar
ground paprika, salt (to taste)

Grate the ingredients and cook for 2 hours. Transfer your hot adjika into jars.

You will need (for my sugar-free version):
4 carrots
4 apples
6 sweet pointed red peppers
4 tomatoes
6 fat cloves of garlic
2 tbsp xylitol (birch sugar)
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 scant tsp salt
4-6 tbsp olive oil

1. Peel the apples and carrots and grate them.
2. Clean the peppers and grate them too.
3. Mix the grated apple-carrot and pepper in a large pot. Bring to boil.
4. Season with the minced garlic, with salt, xylitol, vinegar and oil, and gently cook under lid for 30 mins.
5. Put the tomatoes into boiling water for 2-3 mins. Take them out and let them cool a bit so you can handle. Peel off the skin and mash the flesh up with a fork. Add the tomato paste to the pot. Continue to cook gently for another 45 to 60 mins, stir occasionally.
6. Spoon the hot cooked adjika into jars. Makes 3 x 400 ml. When cooled down DIG IN or put the lids on and place them into the fridge. It will keep up to a week for sure (mine never last that long so I cannot confirm it) but if you seal the top with more olive oil, it will keep longer (if you can resist).

Tips: My favourite way to enjoy this delicious condiment as a spread on rustic bread, but it is excellent with grilled veg too.

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