DrygastDrygast, 2022-08-11

A tasty relish from the Balkans.


  • Servings8 Portions


  • Rest Time20 min
  • Cook Time50 min


Ajvar is a tasty relish from the Balkans that is made with paprika, oil and salt, but often also contains other ingredients such as roasted eggplant, chili and garlic. Ajvar is an important ingredient in Balkan cuisine, where there are also many variations. In Sweden, it has been quite popular to use ajvar instead of ketchup in e.g. hamburgers or sausages with bread, but it can be enjoyed with pasta, various meat and fish dishes or just spread on a good bread.

Some variations:

  • If you don't want to add eggplant, you can simply leave it out.
  • Vary the amount and type of chili. Personally, I appreciate a good kick so I usually use one of the significantly hotter chilies I have at home at the moment. This recipe contains only one roasted chili and produces a very mild Ajvar.
  • With an open flame, you can get a smokier taste. I use e.g. a gas burner for the chili, but it's really good to use the grill for all the vegetables instead of the oven. I only use the oven because I simply don't have a grill available at the moment, otherwise a grill is recommended instead of an oven if possible.

This ajvar can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. If you would like to store this recipe for longer, you need to change a few things, such as e.g. omit the garlic, use sunflower oil instead of olive oil, ensure that you store the end result in well-cleaned and sterilized jars, among other things. There are probably other good recipes for ajvar that are meant to be kept longer, but this recipe is meant for fresh ajvar that is used within a week.

Enjoy your ajvar on e.g. pljeskavica.



Nutrition Facts*

 TotalServing100 g
Energy795.57 kcal99.45 kcal69 kcal
Carbohydrates65.03 g8.13 g5.64 g
Fat55.92 g6.99 g4.85 g
Protein12.8 g1.6 g1.11 g
Sugar42.55 g5.32 g3.69 g
Salt5.88 g0.74 g0.51 g

* The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using the ingredients available in the database. Info will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.


  1. Heat the oven to 250°C.
  2. Halve the peppers and aubergine and place them on a baking sheet (preferably use baking paper). Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes until they are quite black.
  3. Use a gas burner or similar to give the chili pepper some color.
  4. Take the peppers and eggplant out of the oven. Put peppers, aubergine and chili pepper in a bowl. Cover the bowl and let stand for about 20 minutes.
  5. When the vegetables are cool enough to handle, remove the skin from the pepper, eggplant and chili pepper. Also discard seeds and cores.
  6. Put what remains of the bell pepper, eggplant and chili pepper into a food processor. Add oil, garlic, vinegar, salt and pepper.
  7. Run the food processor until smooth consistency.
  8. Transfer everything to a medium pot and let simmer on a low temperature for about 30 minutes. Stir periodically.
  9. Season with salt and pepper.
  10. Remove the pot from the heat and let cool.