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Authentic Recipe of Ajvar. Delicious Traditional Serbian Bell Pepper Sauce from Leskovac.

With only a few ingredients, you will get the most delicious Serbian authentic Ajvar. We can promise you. You will want to eat it with everything.

Things to know about Ajvar Recipe

The name Ajvar comes from the Turkish word “Havyar” which means caviar. Before the 20th century, Ajvar was a common side dish in Belgrade homes and restaurants because it was favored by Turkish sellers that were coming to Serbia.

After World War 2 the dish became popular all over the country and it even spread to other Balkanian countries. The version from Leskovac is registered with the World Intellectual Property Organization to save this recipe from being forgotten and stolen.

Ajvar can be used as a side dish or as a spread. It is made in autumn when red long bell peppers are ripe and it is made in bulk so it lasts the whole winter. This dish may be difficult to do right the first time, but once you get a grip on it, you will love it.

Delicious Traditional Serbian Bell Pepper Sauce from Leskovac. Authentic Recipe of Ajvar.

Local Recipe Name with Local Characters: Ајвар
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— General Atributes of This Recipe:

Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 2 hours
Resting Time 1 day
Total Time 1 day 4 hours
Main Ingredient Group Vegetable based Recipes
Spice Level No Spicy Recipes
Main Cooking Method Roasting, Slow Cooked


Servings 17 Jars
Calories / Serving 708 kcal


  • 30 kg (66.14 lb) Red Bell Pepper Fresh
  • 12 kg (26.46 lb) Eggplant – Aubergine Fresh
  • 200 grams (7.05 oz) White Sugar – Regular Sugar – Granulated Sugar
  • 100 grams (3.53 oz) Salt
  • 15 tbsp White Vinegar
  • 50 ml (1.69 floz) Oil
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  • Wash your peppers and eggplants.
  • Heat the stove plate and roast the peppers and eggplants until the skin starts to darken a little on every side.
  • Once they're done, put them immediately in a ziplock bag and let them cool, this will make them easier to peel off.
  • Once they’re cool peel the peppers and the eggplants.
  • Cut the bottom of the peppers so the water from them flows out and clean the seeds and the pedicle.
  • Using a meat grinder, grind all the vegetables.


  • In a big pot put the ground vegetables, salt, sugar, and vinegar.
  • Heat the stove and cook until it starts to bubble.
  • Heat the oil so it is super hot and pour it over your Ajvar.
  • Make sure to keep mixing so it doesn't burn and everything is mixed well.
  • Cook it until almost all the water is gone and you're left with a caviar-like texture, it has to stay in the spoon when scooped.


  • Heat the mason jars so they don’t break once you pour hot Ajvar in them.
  • Pour the Ajvar into heated mason jars and press it with a spoon to remove trapped air.
  • Close the jars and put them upside down and cover them with a blanket.
  • After a day you’re ready to store the jars and eat them.

— Specific Atributes of This Recipe:

Seasonal Cooking Autumn Recipes, Winter Recipes


Calories: 708kcalCarbohydrates: 160gProtein: 24gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.01gSodium: 2365mgPotassium: 5341mgFiber: 58gSugar: 111gVitamin A: 55415IUVitamin C: 2274mgCalcium: 189mgIron: 9mg
Keyword Ajvar Recipe, Traditional Serbian Bell Pepper Sauce, Ајвар
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Cooking tip for making Ajvar

  • If you do this right and there is no air in the jars, this recipe can last you for the whole winter, but in case you want to be safe, you can add 3 winter preservatives.
  • Do not use a blender in grinding the vegetables. It will change the consistency.
  • You can make it spicy by adding some spicy peppers
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Variations of Ajvar

In case you don’t want to use red bell peppers, you can use green ones and add oregano to taste. Or you can use tomatoes and eggplants.

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