Adjika is a fragrant dip made of tomatoes, garlic and other veggies. It’s lightly spicy and delicious on just about everything.
Adjika is the perfect way for you to use all those tomatoes you picked up at the farmer’s market. Make a big batch, store it in jars and enjoy for months to come.
If you’re looking for something different than salsa, it’s time to try adjika. This sauce packs some serious flavor and will take your taste buds on an adventure around the globe! The secret ingredient? Tart green apples!
What is Adjika?
Adjika is an Eastern European twist on tomato salsa or Italian red pesto. Popular in Ukraine and Russia, this fragrant sauce is made throughout the summer and has Georgian roots.
Adjika is the perfect recipe to pair with any baked or grilled meat. It’s popular for elevating flavors and adding just the right amount of spice.
Traditional adjika doesn’t actually use tomatoes, but as this dip took hold over much of the continent of Europe, it took on many different variations. Much adjika in Ukraine and Russia is packed with juicy tomatoes — just the way my mother made it!
How to Make Adjika
The big difference between adjika and salsa is that adjika is brought to a boil and canned. Also, you can serve it cold or hot depending on the mood you are in. Follow these step-by-step instructions to make it:
- Wash and prepare all your veggies. To chop them, you can use a food processor or a grinder.
Hot tip: Add the hot peppers last and taste as you go! Sometimes those tiny peppers pack a ton of heat.
- Bring the ingredients to a boil in a large pot over medium heat. Make sure to give the adjika a good stir here and there to prevent it from sticking to the bottom.
- Sterilize your jars by preheating the oven to 215 ℉. Wash jars and lids and place them in the oven for 15 minutes or until completely dry.
- Using a canning funnel, place adjika into jars.
- Close all the lids very tightly and flip each jar upside down for a couple of hours.
- Store in a cool place for up to a year.
Tips for The Best Adjika
Adjika is a simple dish that requires little work, but results in tons of flavor. Use the freshest ingredients you can get your hands on to make this sauce perfect each time:
- Taste Your Adjika As You Go. Taste your adjika as you go! Each component you add creates a special flavor and layer. Everyone has their own preference with this dip, so the best way to learn yours is to taste it as you go!
- Adjust the Spice. Use more or less peppers depending on how much heat you like.
- Tomatoes. Use very ripe tomatoes for this recipe. You want the juiciest and sweetest ones you can find. The riper, the better!
- Cutting Up All Veggies. Use either a grinder or a food processor to get the adjika to that perfect, nearly blended consistency.
- Apples. Tart green apples are the way to go. They add so much flavor and a nice tanginess.
- Peppers. Red bell peppers are the sweetest and work best for adjika. But, if you only have yellow or green, feel free to use them!
- Refrigerate: If you choose not to can you adjika, you can refrigerate it for up to two weeks. The kicker? The longer it marinates in itself in the fridge, the better it tastes.
- Canning Adjika: Canning adjika is a bit more time consuming, but well worth it. Canned adjika will last for up to a year when stored in a cool place like your pantry.
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- Wash all the vegetables, except for the garlic, and slice into smaller pieces. Grind using a food processor or grinder.
- Place the combined ingredients into a pot and bring it to a boil. Continue cooking it on medium for about an hour, while occasionally stirring.
- Once it's cooked, add oil, vinegar, salt and sugar. Let Adjika cook for another 20 minutes, while occasionally stirring.
- Remove from heat, add pressed garlic to the mixture and let it sit in a room temperature for about an hour.
- Sterilize the jars by preheating an oven to 215 °F. Wash the jars and lids, and place them in the oven for about 15 minutes, or until completely dry.
- With the help of a canning funnel place Adjika into jars.
- Close all lids very tightly.
- Store the canned adjika in a cool place for up to a year.