Ajvar, another appetizer, is the pride of Macedonian cuisine and is characteristic of wintertime. The recipe, which includes red peppers, is one of the biggest secrets of the Balkan kitchen. It’s traditionally prepared at home, in yards and gardens.
The ajvar has its own tasty companions such as lutenica, malidzano and different kinds of pindjur which accompany the top delicacies. Lunch can also be combined with garlic, potato or bean dip. The dips are easy to prepare, and just like the pindjur, can be served in a traditional crock, accompanied by cheese.
This is a classic Maedonian pepper spread that, in this version is made with chillies, but which can also be made with red bell peppers
5kg red paprika
Wash the paprika and dry then arrange on a baking tray and place in an oven pre-heated to 180°C for about 20 minutes, or until the skin begins to blacken and blister. Remove from the oven, cover in a tea towel and allow to cool until they can be handled. Remove the skins from the chillies and cut off the stems the place in a food processor. Process until smooth (add a little oil to help the process) then pour into a dish. Add half the oil to a pan and stir in the paprika purée. Fry very gently over a low heat, stirring occasionally. As the peppers cook add the remaining oil a little at a time, until the ajvar is thoroughly cooked (about 50 minutes). Take off the heat and add salt to taste. Warm your jars in an oven pre-heated to 100°C for 10 minutes then pour in the ajvar. Seal the jars immediately and store in a dark, cool, cupboard for 2 weeks to mature before use