Ajvar – North Macedonia

Ajvar Chilli relish
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 120 portions
  • Serving size: 20 g
  • Calories: 20
  • Fat: 1 g
  • Saturated fat: 0 g
  • Unsaturated fat: 1 g
  • Trans fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 2 g
  • Sugar: 1 g
  • Sodium: 117 mg
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
Recipe type: Chilli relishes
Cuisine: North Macedonian
Prep time: 
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There are many relishes that run along a similar theme from the Balkans, where chillies are combined with bell peppers and garlic to fantastic effect. This recipe is no exception, but with the difference that eggplant is also added as an ingredient to enhance the flavour even more
  • Bell peppers – 2 kg ( stems removed)
  • Eggplant – 1 kg
  • Vegetable oil – 150 ml
  • Garlic – 4 cloves ( finely chopped)
  • Olive oil – one tablespoon
  • White wine – vinegar - one tablespoon
  • Chillies – 4 to five chopped
  • Salt – for sprinkling over eggplant and seasoning.
  • Sugar – for seasoning
  1. Slice the eggplant. Sprinkle generously on both sides with salt.
  2. Place in a colander and drain for about 45 minutes. The salt will remove any excess moisture
  3. Place the bell peppers under the grill in the oven. Chargrill until blackened and blistered
  4. Place in a bowl and cover with a plate or cling film.
  5. Once the eggplant has drained, wash under cold water and drain on paper towels
  6. Drizzle olive oil over the eggplant and place them on the rack of grilling tray in a moderately hot oven ( about 180 degrees Celsius until they start softening. Remove from the oven ( be careful they don't burn)
  7. Remove the skins from the bell peppers. Cut open and remove the white pith and seeds.
  8. Remove the stems from the chillies and finely chopped.
  9. Add the cooked bell peppers and eggplant to a blender. Blend until smooth
  10. Add the vegetable oil to a pot.
  11. Bring to medium heat on the hob.
  12. Add the chillies and garlic—Cook for 5 minutes. Be careful not to burn!
  13. Add the Bell peppers/eggplant puree and vinegar.
  14. Turn done the heat to low and allow to simmer slowly for one to two hours. Be careful to stir at regular intervals during this period to ensure that ajar does not stick.
  15. Once the relish has achieved a fine smooth texture
  16. Taste for seasoning. Adjust as necessary by adding sugar, salt or more vinegar
  17. Hot fill into sterilised glass jars. Seal with lids
  18. Allow cooling. Open when ready to use
Keywords: Ajvar


Adjika- Georgia

Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 30 portions of 15ml
  • Serving size: 15 grams
  • Calories: 19
  • Fat: 1 g
  • Saturated fat: 0 g
  • Unsaturated fat: 0 g
  • Trans fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 1 g
  • Sugar: 0 g
  • Sodium: 63 mg
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
Recipe type: Chilli relishes
Cuisine: Georgian
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This fiery chilli paste is loaded with heat. Similar to Sambal oelek , the Indonesian chilli paste, this relish is used to give fantastic flavour to grilled meats, soups, stews and sauces. While not traditional, a large chopped tomato can be added to this recipe to tone down the heat.
  • Bell peppers – one large (red)
  • Red chillies – 250 grams
  • Garlic- 6 cloves
  • Coriander – one tablespoon ( see note)
  • Freshly ground black pepper - one teaspoon
  • Red wine vinegar - One table
  • Vegetable oil – one tablespoon
  • Salt – to personal taste but quite a bit (a tablespoon or more)
  1. Chargrill the pepper over an open flame until the skin is blackened and blistered
  2. Place in a bowl and cover with a plate or cling film ( let them rest for 15 to 20 minutes)
  3. Remove the stems from the Chillies. Cut them open and remove the seeds and pith (see note)
  4. Peel and finely chop the garlic
  5. Remove the chargrilled pepper from the bowl and remove its skin, this should be easy to do as the steam released while it was covered and will have dislodged the skin from the flesh.
  6. Cut the pepper open and remove the pith and seeds. Roughly chop the flesh.
  7. Add the Chillies, garlic, peppers, coriander powder, vegetable oil, black pepper and salt to a blender.
  8. Blend until well chopped but not smooth. You want just a bit of chunkiness
  9. Pour unto sterilised jars. Keep in the fridge until needed.
Keywords: Spicy Adjika


Sambal Badjak – Indonesia

Sambal Badjak
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 40 teaspoons
  • Serving size: 100 ml
  • Calories: 140 kcal
  • Fat: 11 grams
  • Saturated fat: 1.2 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 7.4 grams
  • Sugar: 6.4 grams
  • Sodium: 0.98 grams
  • Fiber: 0.8 grams
  • Protein: 3.6 grams
Recipe type: Chilli relishes
Cuisine: Indonesia
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Indonesia is a country that likes its food spicy. Its cuisine is both complex and rich in flavour and is described as hot , savoury and spicy. This recipe is an excellent illustration of all of these elements. The heat and spiciness of the Chillies, onion and garlic are finely balanced by the sweetness of the tomatoes and sugar, with the lemon juice ( or Tamarind if you have it) adding just a hint of sourness. Definitely destined to become one of your favourites!
  • Fresh red Chillies – 150 grams ( Thai Birds-eye or similar)
  • Tomatoes – 2 small ( approx 100g) (coarsely chopped)
  • White onion - 1 medium (finely sliced)
  • Garlic paste - 50 grams
  • Bay leaves – 2 (dried)
  • Lemon juice - I tablespoon ( Can be substituted with two tablespoons of Tamarind juice)
  • Olive oil – 30 grams
  • Candle nuts – 5 (see note)
  • Shrimp paste – I tablespoon
  • White sugar – 1 teaspoon
  1. Remove the stalks from the chilies and blend into a paste in a blender
  2. Heat the Olive oil in a pan to a medium heat
  3. Add onions and fry until starting to change colour
  4. Add the chillies, bay leaves, garlic and shrimp pastes and stir until the chillies are beginning to release their oils (1 – 2 minutes)
  5. Crush the nuts into a fine powder
  6. Add the tomatoes and nuts, turn up the heat and stir continuously until ingredients have reduced by a third ( Be careful that the ingredients don’t stick to the pan)
  7. Finally add sugar and lemon juice. Combine all ingredients well and take pan off stove. Allow to cool
  8. Pour into storage container
  9. Will last for about a week in the refrigerator and two to three months if frozen
Candle nuts can be substituted with Macadamia or Cashew nuts

Keywords: Sambal Badjak


Pindjur – Bulgaria

Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 20 -25 portions
  • Serving size: 100g
  • Calories: 35 kcal
  • Fat: < 0.5g
  • Saturated fat: < 0.1g
  • Carbohydrates: 7.2g
  • Sugar: 6.7g
  • Sodium: 0.28g
  • Fiber: 1.3g
  • Protein: 1.1g
Recipe type: Chilli relishes
Cuisine: Bulgarian
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This relish takes a lot of time to make, but in the end, the effort is well worth it. Served with crusty fresh bread and cheese, it is an absolute treat. Another Chilli treasure in your cooking arsenal that should only be shared with your very best friends
  • Red bell peppers - 8
  • Red Chillies – 10 Jalapeños or similar
  • Fresh root ginger – 3 inches
  • Garlic cloves – 8 cloves, peeled
  • Cherry tomatoes – 1 - 400-gram can
  • Caster sugar - 57 grams (2 ounces)
  • Red wine vinegar - ¼ cup
  • Salt - 1 teaspoon
  1. Remove stem, white pith, and seeds from bell peppers. Cut into bite-size pieces
  2. Add above to the tomatoes in a heavy-based pot.
  3. Add vinegar and slowly incorporate sugar, stirring all the time until well mixed
  4. Bring to the boil and then turn down the heat. Allow to simmer, with occasional stirring, for 45 minutes to an hour
  5. Towards the end of the cooking cycle, it should start thickening, so be vigilant. At this point stir regularly to prevent it catching.
  6. Once cooked. Allow to cool slightly and ladle into sterilized jars. Seal
Keywords: Pindjur relish