Ajvar is a delicious spicy Roasted Red Pepper Sauce that you can easily make from scratch with this simple recipe! This popular red pepper relish can be used as a sauce, dip, seasoning paste, and much more!
The Best Ajvar Sauce Recipe – Easy, Spicy, Delicious!
Hot, spicy and incredibly delicious – Ajvar sauce is a simple and tasty addition to any meal and should not be missing at any barbecue party! This is a tried and true family recipe for making ajvar at home in the oven. I’ve updated the old blog post with new photos, a recipe video and lots of information so more people, will know and try this healthy red pepper dip!
What is Ajvar?
Ajvar, Ajvar or Aivar is a type of red pepper relish that is very popular in the Balkan countries. The main ingredients are red peppers, eggplant, garlic, olive oil and spices like salt, vinegar and pepper. It is eaten as a dip or side dish with meat dishes and is also an important ingredient in some traditional Balkan recipes. Of course, it also pairs well with vegetarian and vegan dishes like pasta, vegan cevapcici or tofu skewers. If you haven’t tried it yet, I highly recommend trying this specialty of Balkan cuisine!
Original Ajvar Recipe
Traditionally, peppers and eggplants are roasted over a hot charcoal fire or in the oven until they are soft and black. Then the skin is removed and the flesh is finely chopped or pureed. The remaining ingredients are heated in a pot and mixed with the pepper-eggplant mixture. Everything is then briefly boiled again and the ajvar sauce is ready.
With this recipe you can easily make Ajvar yourself. There are many different ajvar recipes, but generally the preparation consists of the steps mentioned below. It usually takes some time and patience, but it is worth it if you want to enjoy the authentic homemade ajvar.
Ingredients for the Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
To make ajvar from scratch, you will need the following ingredients:
- Red bell peppers
- Garlic cloves
- Hot peppers (peperoni)
- Olive oil
- White vinegar
- Salt and black pepper
- Optionally some sugar
As always, I recommend checking out these step-by-step instructions and the recipe video first. Then you’ll find the full recipe with the exact quantities below in the recipe card!
Step 1: Roast eggplants and bell peppers
First, cut the bell peppers in half and remove the seeds. Chop the eggplants into rough pieces. Then place the bell pepper halves and eggplant pieces on a baking tray and roast in the oven or on the grill at 392 °F (200 °C) for about 20-30 minutes, or until they are soft and blackened.
Step 2: Peel and blend everything
Then remove the vegetables from the oven and cover them with a damp cloth to make them easier to peel. In the meantime, briefly sauté the onion, garlic and hot peppers in a pan. After the peppers and eggplants have cooled, peel off the skin. Then put the flesh in a pot together with the onion mixture and blend with an immersion stick blender (or in a food processor or stand blender).
Step 3: Cook
Add remaining oil and vinegar and simmer for about 20-30 minutes to bring out the sweetness and flavor of the peppers. Finally, season with salt and pepper to taste. Fill the ajvar into a jar and store in the refrigerator.
Where does Ajvar come from?
Ajvar comes from the Balkan countries, especially Serbia, Montenegro and Northern Macedonia. The name ajvar actually comes from the Turkish word ‘havyar’ which translates to ‘caviar’.
Is Ajvar vegan?
Yes, Ajvar is usually vegan because there are no animal products in the ingredients.
Ajvar will keep in the fridge for about two weeks. However, it is important to always keep it in an airtight container or jar with a lid and make sure it does not get contaminated.
Ajvar can be used as a dip, spread or side dish for meat dishes, on bread or crackers, as an ingredient in pasta, sandwiches, burgers, salads or soups and even as a marinade for meat alternatives, tofu and vegetables. You can also eat it like ketchup with potato fries or use it as a filling for wraps and many more dishes!
How many calories does Ajvar have?
The number of calories in ajvar can vary depending on the brand and ingredients, but it usually contains between 150 and 200 calories per 100 grams.
This Homemade Ajvar Sauce Recipe is:
- Versatile & customizable
- Fruity and savory
- Filled with vegetables
- Totally delicious!
- Perfect for the barbecue season!
If you try this easy ajvar recipe, feel free to leave me a comment and a star rating! And if you take a photo of your roasted red pepper sauce and share it on Instagram or Facebook, please tag me @biancazapatka and use the hashtag #biancazapatka because I love seeing your creations! Have fun making it! 🙂
Homemade Ajvar Sauce - Original Roasted Red Pepper Dip RecipeAuthor:
*Note: Check out the recipe video + step-by-step instructions above!
- Preheat the oven to 392 °F (200 °C).
- Place the bell pepper halves and eggplant pieces on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush with a little oil and bake in the preheated oven for about 20-30 minutes, until the skin is charred and darkened (see step-by-step photos or recipe video). Then remove and cover with a damp cloth to make it easier to peel the vegetables.
- In the meantime, heat 1 tbsp of oil in a pan and sauté the onion for about 2-3 minutes, until translucent. Then add the garlic and the hot pepper and sauté for another 30 seconds. Set aside.
- Remove the skin from the roasted peppers and eggplants. Then place in a saucepan with the onion mixture and puree with an immersion stick blender (or in a stand blender).
- Add the remaining oil and vinegar and simmer for about 20-30 minutes until the desired consistency is reached. Finally, season with salt and pepper to taste.
- More helpful information about the recipe, including FAQ's (frequently asked questions), are at the top of the blog post!
- This recipe was first published on 03.10.2017.
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