About Food – Ajika with Tomatoes

Ajika (Georgian: აჯიკა) is a hot, spicy paste used to flavor meat and fish dishes mainly in Samegrelo and Abkhazia. It is made with hot red peppers, garlic, herbs and spices. In appearance and consistency ajika resembles Italian red pesto. There are several types of ajika. In this recipe we show how to make ajika with tomatoes.

ajika-with-tomatoes

Ingredients: 3 kilos of tomatoes, 1.5 kilos of sweet red peppers, 250-500 grams of hot red peppers, 200 grams of garlic, 2 heaped tbs of dried coriander, and salt (amount dependent upon personal preference). The picture below depicts all of the ingredients but does not show the full quantities.

ingredients-for-ajika-with-tomatoes

Preparation: Put the peppers onto newspaper and leave overnight to thoroughly dry.

When ready to make the ajika, remove all of the seeds from the hot red peppers. CAUTION: Wear gloves to do this or your fingers and hands will burn from the capsaicin (heat producing chemical) contained in the peppers. Save the seeds – dry them and use them in other recipes.

hot-red-peppers-for-megrelian-ajika-recipe

Remove all of the seeds from the sweet red peppers.

red-peppers-for-megrelian-ajika-recipe

Remove the skins from the garlic.

Garlic

Remove the skins from the tomatoes.

tomatoes-and-peppers

Crush the hot and sweet peppers and the tomatoes. We used a meat grinder to do this.

crushing-red-peppers-for-megrelian-ajika-recipe

Crush the garlic.

crushing-garlic-for-megrelian-ajika-recipe

Add the dried coriander and salt (amount dependent upon personal preference). Use your hands to thoroughly mix the ajika. CAUTION: Wear gloves to do this or your fingers and hands will burn from the capsaicin (heat producing chemical) contained in the peppers.

adding-spices-for-ajika-with-tomatoes-recipe

Serving: Serve as a condiment with meat and fish dishes. It is also used in cooking, especially chicken dishes.

jik-with-tomatoes-ready-for-serving

Enjoy your ajika with tomatoes!

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