Aijvar or Aijvar is a seasonal dish; an appetizer; a relish of roasted eggplant-sweet-pepper mixture made principally from red bell peppers, with eggplant, garlic and chile pepper. String beans can also be combined to make Ajvar. Ajvar is predominantly popular in the Balkans, in countires like Macedonia, Croatia, Serbia and other former parts of Yugoslavia and also in Greece. It is always made in late summer and early autumn, just after the paprika harvest and when many households bottle their own Ajvar for use throughout the winter season. It is enjoyed as a winter food. Depending on ingredients and the amount of added chili peppers, it can be sweet, piquant or very hot. Ajvar can be consumed as a bread spread on slices of white bread or flat bread with chunks of Feta cheese, an addition in sandwiches, as a condiment. It is often used as a side dish with grilled or roasted meats, as an appetizer or salad. The name Ajvar comes from Turkish "havyar", which means salted roe. Preparation of Ajvar is somewhat difficult, as it involves plenty of manual labor, especially for peeling the ingredients. Traditionally, it is prepared in early autumn, when the bell peppers are most abundant, conserved in glass jars, and consumed throughout the year, although in most households stocks do not last up until the spring, when fresh salads start to emerge again. The peppers and eggplants are baked whole on a plate on open fire, plate of a wood stove, or in the oven. Baked peppers must briefly rest in a closed dish, so that they get cooler and the flesh sets apart from the skin. Then, the skin is carefully peeled off and seeds removed. The pepper is ground in a mill or chopped in tiny pieces - this variant is often referred to as Pindur. Finally, the mush is stewed for a couple of hours in large pots, with added sunflower oil and garlic, in order to condense and reduce the water, as well as to enhance later conservation. Salt and optional vinegar are added at the end and the hot mush is poured directly into glass jars which are immediately sealed. The best Ajvar is produced domestically, as only the manual peeling and seed removal ensures clear taste without slightly bitter influence of the pepper skin. Ajvar is also called Aijvar and is pronounced "eye-vahr".

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