Macedonian Spicy Vegetable Relish Lutenica

 

 Lutenica (or ljutenica, lutenka) is other popular relish that is prepared in early autumn and consumed during winter. The word “lutenica” is derived from the word “lut, luto” meaning “chilly”. Lutenica is similar to ajvar, except it contains tomatoes and has chilly and spicier taste. Of course, you can make it non-chilly if you’re not fond of chilly taste, but then it won’t be lutenica right? Alternative ingredients include eggplants, carrots, onion. This a tried recipe that my mother in law prepares it for decades. You can prepare half of this dosage if you think this is too much work for you 🙂

 

Ingredients:

  • 10 kg red peppers for ajvar
  • 5 kg tomatoes
  • 1/2 kg red hot chilly peppers or hot capsicums
  • 1 liter cooking oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup wine vinegar
  • 2 bunches parsley
  • 1 head garlic

*1 cup is 250 ml cup

 
Preparation:

  1. First, wash, clean and bake the red peppers. Put baked peppers in a plastic foil so they’ll peel better later. After peeling, leave to drain.
  2. Wash and clean tomatoes from the green parts and put to grind in a meat grinding machine.
  3. Put grind tomatoes together with the vinegar and sugar in a larger pot to cook. Leave to simmer together for about 30 minutes.
  4. Then, add the cooking oil and leave to cook together with tomatoes for about 1 hour.
  5. Add cleaned and chopped chilli peppers and leave to cook for 30 more minutes.
  6. In a meantime, chop the red peppers in desired size and add them in the pot. Add cleaned and chopped garlic and washed and chopped parsley. Everything together should boil on a low heat for 30 more minutes, so the overall time for preparing lutenica is 2,5 hours.
  7. At the very end, add 1 tsp of food preservative sodium benzoate and mix it through the mixture.
  8. Pour hot lutenica in hot jars and close the lids well. Fill jars till the top.
  9. Enjoy lutenica with some fresh bread and a piece of cheese.

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