Last night I sliced and baked aubergine, red pepper, tomatoes in olive oil and oregano. These fruits don’t need much to bring out their flavours.

My intention was to make Ajvar. It’s a condiment made from sweet red peppers and also sometimes with aubergine added. Chillies can be included if hot is the preference. Tomatoes don’t go in, I just had them to use.

I let the fruits cool then today had them on sourdough toast, drizzled with the olive oil they baked in, accompanied by slices of avocado, cucumber and some rocket to complement the reds and purples with greens – hot with cool.

If you want to make Ajvar ‘extra’ then add some smoked paprika and garlic, but I like it as it is. Today I will mash up the roasted fruits and keep my Ajvar in the fridge for immediate consumption rather than conserving it. It will go nicely with tacos later.

It’s not commonly known in the UK and is found predominantly across Southern Slavic Europe and the Balkans – so from Croatia across and including Turkey. It’s a delightfully tasty alternative to hummus if you want an extra dip or something to spread on bread.

The origin of the word is Turkish from – hayvar, made in the Balkans when peppers arrived.  Like many things  we share its recipe across borders, along with filo, domaca kafa, baklava, burek, cevapi, and so on.

It can be found in Euro and Eastern mini markets here now and  in Holland and Barrett!

Have you investigated Granny’s Secret? It’s a UK-based company run by a woman who makes conserves, preserves, juices – all from fruits.


Check out Granny’s Secret website link above – see what you think, and go get a jar of Ajvar!


And read some more about it on Hindustan Times!

Gold stars for everyone who can pronounce Ajvar correctly!