Adzhika – Аджика

Adzhika-1-2 2As the bountiful garden harvest comes to a close, canning all these delicious vegetables is a great way to make good use of every last bit of summer’s gifts. Even though I don’t have a garden of my own, I scour the local farmer’s markets for good deals. Every canning season doesn’t seem complete to me without making a batch of my Mom’s Adzhika.

Adzhika is kind of like a salsa, made with peppers, tomatoes, carrots and a few other ingredients that together make a wonderful combination of flavors. It’s usually served as a side dish, condiment and is often used to flavor other dishes. Since I don’t have any Georgian heritage in me and don’t really have any acquaintances from that particular region of the former Soviet Union, I’m pretty sure this is not an authentic recipe. This version is my Mom’s recipe, and her side of the family goes back to Belarus as far back as we know. This is the way other native Belarusians that we know prepare it too and we love it. I can’t vouch for authenticity like I said, but I can certainly guarantee that it tastes great!

It has a salsa like consistency, you can make it as spicy and hot as you like by adding more or less hot peppers. I like mine mild, so I keep the heat level pretty tame. With the addition of carrots, tomatoes, and apples, this pepper salsa is a perfect combination of flavors – peppery, acidic, slightly sweet and very balanced. Serve it alongside shishkebabs, chicken, fish as well as to flavor soups, stews, casseroles and on top of burritos. 

Ingredients:

2 1/2 lbs tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 lb bell peppers, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 lb carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 lb apples, cored, peeled and coarsely chopped
1-2 hot peppers, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 garlic head, peeled and minced
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 cup salt
1/3 cup oil (sunflower, canola, grapeseed, avocado etc.)

Instructions:

Coarsely chop the tomatoes, peppers, carrots, and apples.
Use a meat grinder or a food processor to finely chop all ingredients into a salsa-like consistency. If you’re using a meat grinder, you can cut the veggies into bigger chunks. I like to use the food processor, so I cut it this way so that the consistency would be the same. Place in a big stockpot or a heavy bottomed dutch oven and cook, simmering and covered for an hour. The vegetables will soften and the mixture will become more liquidy.

Add the vinegar, salt, sugar, oil and garlic. Cook for another 15-20 minutes. Distribute the Adzhika into clear jars and close with lids. I usually make just one batch and keep it in the refrigerator. However, if you are making a large amount, make sure to sterilize your jars and lids before adding the adzhika. Then place the jars inside a large pot filled with water and boil for 10-15 minutes. Turn the jars upside down and cover with a towel.

Store unsterilized jars in the refrigerator or sterilized jars at room temperature. 

Adzhika-1-3 2

Adzhika
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Side Dish
Serves: 12 cups
Ingredients
  • 2½ lbs tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 1 lb bell peppers, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 1 lb carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 lb apples, cored, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1-2 hot peppers, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 1 garlic head, peeled and minced
  • ½ cup distilled white vinegar
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ⅛ cup salt
  • ⅓ cup oil (sunflower, canola, grapeseed, avocado etc.)
Instructions
  1. Coarsely chop the tomatoes, peppers, carrots, and apples.
  2. Grind in a meat grinder or use your food processor until it has a salsa-like consistency.
  3. Place in a big stockpot or heavy-bottomed Dutch oven and cook, simmering and covered for an hour.
  4. Add the vinegar, salt, sugar, and garlic. Cook for another 15 - 20 minutes.
  5. Distribute the adzhika into clear jars and close with lids.

30 Comments

  • Natasha

    Looks great! Looking forward to more pickled food recipes. What kind of pickled recipes do you usually make? by the way, Every single recipe I tried from your blog came out so delicious. Thank you for all the work that you put into this blog. I check it everyday 🙂

    • olgak7

      I love to make all kinds of pickled food, Natasha. My favorites are marinated pickles, tomatoes, mushrooms, lecho, and all kinds of salads and mixes with different vegetables.

  • Natalya Wilson

    Olga… what kind of apples go best for the adzhika? more sour or sweet? thinking to make little bit for a family.
    Thank you!

  • Rachel

    Olga, just love browsing through your website. Anyways, I made adjika two years in the row. Guess what, the ingredients are exact like yours. Got to tell you this that anyone who tries it ask’s for the recipe. It’s absolutely the best one I ever tried.

  • Anna

    hey olga, is it important to seed the tomatoes? wouldn’t it add the sauce-nous of it all? I have tried to make my moms and my moms in law adjika recipe and both have come out to be.. not exactly like theirs lol so i am excited to find this! steps measurements pictures, love it! Thank You!!!

    • olgak7

      First of all, I don’t like biting on the seeds. Second of all, it will make the Adzhika more watery. However, you can certainly use the tomatoes whole and not bother seeding them, Anna. It’s a personal preference for me.

  • Nadia

    Hi Olga, I have never made adzhika, my mil brought me a lot of tomatoes today from her garden! About how many tomatoes is 2 pounds! I have medium sized tomatoes.

  • malina

    i know you said this was your mom’s version , but still is has absolutely nothing to do with real Georgian Ajika , or with its variations . Ajika is made with chili or jalapeno peppers , coriander , spices and walnuts , if desired. It is very hot and spicy sauce . Apples and carrots ? Big NO.

    I’m not sure that having the only “right” ingredient , which is jalapeno pepper qualifies for , this otherwise pretty good recipe , to be called Ajika , or even version of it.

    I don’t mean to be rude or anything by writing this , just thought it wasn’t correct .

    • olgak7

      Thanks for your input, Malina. This is the kind of Adzhika that we had in Belarus, where I was born. We love this version. I’m sure there are many other delicious versions. I share the recipes on this website that my family and I enjoy.
      If you’d like to share your recipe, I would love to try it as well.

      • beata

        Thank you for your wonderful recipes. I am originally from Ukraine and I like to try other cuisines as well. Adzhika you are suggesting is very similar to one I buy for my American friend In Russian store. I want to make your recipe and see if I can use other peppers like Thai or Korean hot pepper.

  • L

    Hello I am canning and was wondering about the step where you place jars of adjika into pot and boil for 10-15 min. Do you boil them against each other standing straight up (lid up)? Upside down for a seal? Or does the upside down Come after the boiling in the pot?

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