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+ servings
eggplant red pepper dip in a traditional bowl

Ajvar Recipe – Balkan Food

Delicious ajvar recipe, one of the most popular Balkan foods. A great dip made with smoky roasted red pepper and eggplants.
Course Dips, Sauces and Dressings
Cuisine Albanian, Eastern Europe
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 101kcal
Author Adina


  • 4 medium red bell peppers about 600 g/ 1.3 lbs
  • 2 eggplants about 500 g/ 1.1 lbs
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 small onion about 50 g/ 1.8 oz
  • ½ teaspoon hot paprika powder more to taste
  • ¾ teaspoon smoked paprika powder not hot, more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper


  • Roast vegetables: Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius/ 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the red bell peppers, and the eggplants on a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake for about 30 to 40 minutes, depending on size, until the skin blackens and the vegetables are really soft. Turn them halfway.
  • Roasting the eggplants might take a little longer than the peppers, they are usually larger. Make sure that the eggplants are perfectly soft, undercooked eggplants are terrible.
    Alternatively and even better for the taste is to grill the veggies on a hot grill or burn them on the hob. See how to roast eggplants.
  • Remove skin: Cover the red peppers with plastic wrap and leave them until they cool down slightly. This will help with removing the skin. Let the eggplants cool down as well. When cool enough to handle remove the skins of the vegetables very thoroughly.
  • Chop the vegetables, not very finely; you should still have small chunks of the veggies here and there. Alternatively, you can use a food processor or an immersion blender, however, make sure that you don't turn the vegetables into a paste. The ajvar should remain only roughly chopped.
  • Spices: Add the finely chopped onion, grated garlic clove, both types of paprika powder, salt, pepper. Mix well and add the vinegar and lemon juice.
  • Add the olive oil in a thin stream while stirring all the time. Adjust the taste with more salt and pepper, if necessary. Serve as suggested above.


Serving: 2-3 tablespoons | Calories: 101kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Sodium: 136mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g