Bowl of Red Ajika
Click to Enlarge

Ajika - Hot Pepper Sauce
Georgia
  -   Ajika
Makes
Effort:
Sched:
DoAhead:  
2 cup  
***
1 hr  
Yes
This is an essential Georgian condiment, sauce, spread, dip and ingredient, made slightly differently in every household. The pattern recipe was composed to be made in Canada, but samples passed muster with real Georgians in Georgia. There is also Green Ajika, and others.



14
7
1/2
1/3
4
1
1
2
1/2
oz

c
c
cl
T
T
t
Tt
Bell Peppers, red (1)
Red Chilis, fresh (2)  
Cilantro leaves (3)
Basil leaves (3)
Garlic
Coriander Seed
Marigold Petals (4)
Salt
Wine Vinegar
Make   -   (1 hr)
  1. Optional:   Blast BELL PEPPERS and RED CHILIS black with your propane torch. Brush off skins under running water (see Note-1).
  2. Core and seed BELL PEPPERS. Chop Course. Cap CHILIS but do not remove core or seeds (see Note-2). Mix.
  3. Remove CILANTRO LEAVES from the stems. Remove BASIL LEAVES from stems. Measure both as whole leaves packed fairly tight. Mix.
  4. Peel GARLIC and chop small.
  5. In your Spice Grinder, grind CORIANDER and MARIGOLD to powder. Mix with Salt.
  6. Start your Food Processor, and add the ingredients in the order given in the ingredient table. You want to make a paste with some texture, not a liquid, so don't run too long.
  7. Refrigerate overnight, covered. Check seasoning in the morning, adjusting with more Salt, Coriander or Vinegar if needed. Packed in a sterile jar and tightly sealed, this sauce should keep at least a week in the fridge. For longer storage it freezes well.
NOTES:
  1. Bell Peppers:   The pattern recipe does not call for skinning the Bell Peppers or Chilis, but I do it to both, for a more pleasant mouth feel. This is very easy to do with a Propane Torch, but not at all easy without one.
  2. Chili:   Around here we all use red ripe Fresno peppers, but similar medium hot peppers will work fine. The number of Chilis given makes a sauce that is fairly hot by Southern California standards. If you think they'll make the sauce hotter than you want, partially core them. For details see our Chili Page.
  3. Cilantro & Basil:   Thai Purple Basil can be used as it is closer to Georgian basil than Italian basil is, and around here it's a lot cheaper. Unlike most of our recipes, the herbs are measured as whole leaves and packed pretty tight. We do this because there are so many, and they will go directly into the food processor with no other chance to measure.
  4. Marigold Petals:   In Georgia, French Marigold (Imeruli Shaphrani - Tagetes patula) is used, but it is not easy to find in North America. Pot Marigold (Calendula officinalis petals can be found on-line and are a reasonable substitute. The measure is for coarsely powdered. Whole petals are hard to measure, but about 5 times the given amount, lightly packed, For details see our Calendula / Marigold page.
  5. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
tjv_ajika1* 150706 ccsg182   -   www.clovegarden.com
©Andrew Grygus - agryg@aaxnet.com - Linking to and non-commercial use of this page is permitted.