by Olena

Adjika Recipe

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Olena Osipov
5 from 4 votes

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Adjika Recipe

Ever since I posted cauliflower breadsticks recipe over 2 years ago and mentioned that I served them with my mom’s Ukrainian salsa, I have been constantly bombarded with requests for the recipe. I never anticipated “the breadsticks” to be such a hit and least expected Ukrainian salsa to be another hit. Just never know.

So, I asked my mom for the recipe. If you ever ask a European woman for a recipe you will hear a lot about eyeballs. Totally anti-North American. I myself am a cross of measuring cups and spoons with eyeballs now.

apples, onions, tomatoes, carrots, garlic and yellow peppers

So, I dragged on and on to develop my own version of adjika recipe that is close to mom’s. Finally, this year I got inspired by the taste of real tomatoes we have been enjoying all summer long. I honestly have no idea how I am going to go back to store-bought tomatoes. The only version I can stomach in winter is expensive tomatoes on the vine. Sigh.

It is expensive to have a good taste. Sigh.

Jars filled with Adjika

Before we go into the nitty gritty of the recipe, let me forewarn you. This is not true Ukrainian recipe but rather has originated in Georgia or some other former USSR republic. Adjika recipe has been prepared by all women of former USSR at the end of summer. And my mom made it in Ukraine all her life.

Also before I start receiving history lessons on how not all Slavic people are “Russians” and adjika is not Ukrainian etc. I KNOW! Please save your energy. I know! I know! But this is my blog and this is what I wanted to call this recipe. Amen.

Chopped Tomatoes in food processor

Adjika recipe is meant to be canned. But I don’t can. Just like I barely bake except tons of healthy chocolate muffins and healthy banana muffins for my always hungry boys. I just placed adjika in 8 oz Mason jars. It can be refrigerated for up to 3 weeks or frozen for 3 months.

Adjika sauce is basically cooked mixture of tomatoes, bell peppers, carrots, apples flavoured with garlic, spices, oil and vinegar. My version contains less oil because it doesn’t have to be canned.

Processed tomatoes in food processor  Tomatoes and yellow peppers in food processor

Now onto the process. You want vegetables and fruit (technically tomato is a fruit) to be finely ground. When my mom made adjika she used manual meat grinder like the one you can buy with a Kitchenaid mixer nowadays. She would clamp the cast iron meat grinder to a kitchen table placing wooden pads in-between to avoid damage to the table. I still remember how much fun it was to grind fruit and veggies this way. It was easy.

But I absolutely hated grinding meat because it was so hard the table was moving. In Ukraine, ground meat wasn’t available, so you had to make your own. More work but at least you knew it didn’t contain fats, hair, tails and ears. Even if it was sold in stores my grandma would have never bought it claiming it could be a dog meat.:)

Adjika ingredients in dutch oven

Today, being blessed to live an American dream life, I used a food processor. Just make sure everything is ground coarsely and not pureed.

Above is a photo of adjika mixture before cooking. And below it is dressed and cooked. Voila.

Adjika in Dutch Oven

A few things to note. I used original Russian recipe which called for parsley (which I can’t seem to find now online but let be it because you wouldn’t understand a word anyways). After I added parsley I remembered my mom never did and I didn’t like this addition. So, I skipped it in my recipe.

You can certainly cut the recipe in half or quarter as the final yield is 14 cups.

I used yellow bell pepper but red one would work better for the final colour. I just didn’t have red one on hand.


Adjika in jars

I had only 1 hot red chili pepper and substituted with extra red pepper flakes. You can use 2 peppers and skip red pepper flakes. If you still want to make adjika more spicy, add red pepper flakes to cooled cooked adjika to taste.

And my mom tasted my version of adjika and said she would add more garlic. Of course. Adjust to taste, more or less. Depends. Also note certain farmers market’s garlic variety is much more intense in flavour than store-bought one. You know what I mean?! Enjoy!

This recipe is devoted to my mom. She left yesterday and I have been crying since. It is just when your parents get older you don’t know when is the last time…

Adjika Recipe

Adjika Recipe

Adjika Recipe is my mom's Ukrainian salsa made with tomatoes, bell peppers, apples, carrots, garlic and spices. No canning, can be refrigerated and frozen.
5 from 4 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: Ukrainian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 14 servings
Calories: 154kcal
Author: Olena Osipov



  • In a food processor, process tomatoes, peppers, carrots, apples, onions and chili pepper until coarse texture. Work in batches and transfer to a large pot or dutch oven.
  • Add peppercorns and bay leaves; stir well. Bring to a boil on high heat. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 hour.
  • Add garlic, oil, vinegar, maple syrup, salt, red pepper flakes and stir. Cook covered on low for another 20 minutes. Transfer to Mason or any glass jars and let cool before serving. I like adjika cold.

Store: Refrigerate for up to 3 weeks or freeze for up to 3 months. Leave room for expansion when filling the jars.


    • *Granny Smith apples or the sour green apples from your backyard that never get to ripen before the worms attack it would work.
    • **Adjust spiciness and amount of garlic to your taste after a pot of cooked salsa has cooled down a bit. You can use more fresh hot peppers and skip red pepper flakes.


    Serving: 1cup | Calories: 154kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1013mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 14g

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    17 comments on “Adjika Recipe

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    1. This looks amazing! Could I can it? Would I need to do anything special or adjust the recipe? Thanks! Can’t wait to try this!

      1. Yes, my mom canned it. You can use it I believe as long as you follow the canning process after properly. I remember there were a lot of tricks lol

    2. Hi there! Can’t wait to make this. Is there a way to reduce the sodium without spoiling the taste or the recipe? Thanks!

    3. 5 stars
      thank you so much for this recipe!!! My Ukrainian mother in law makes this for me when we are back in Ukraine. I laughed at your “eye ball” comment, so so true. I make borscht and found that if you ask 5 Ukrainian women for their recipe, you will end up with at least 10 different recipes and none with actual measurements. People really must experience Ukrainian food to appreciate it – thank you again.

      1. That is true. My mom still eye balls everything. It is an eye ball cuisine lol. Believe it or not, when I cook not for the blog an eye ball, my food is tastier. I swear lol. Enjoy!

    4. I don’t can either. The idea sounds interesting but I fear that the glass jar would EXPLODE on me. As always, your post was entertaining. LOL. Haters gonna hate…;) I have some last of the summer tomatoes that need some love. I’m excited to make this! It wasn’t until I hit my thirties that I noticed how fast life goes by and how much we aren’t guaranteed tomorrow.

      1. I just don’t have time or need for canning I guess. It is extra, like a luxury, like a hobby lol. I can go buy everything fresh at the store. We canned in Ukraine out of necessity. Here “the necessity” is to upkeep everything we own. OMG we own too much. I’m drowning in chores.
        Thirties definitely give a different perspective on life than twenties.:)

    5. 5 stars
      Haha! I love that you preemptively went through all of the possible geography and historical complaints anyone might hit you with! I love that about you. Yet it stinks ya gotta clarify every. single. detail.

      I have been paying a really high price for a tiny jar of this (I call it relish) at our little European market. I think $5.99 for 6 ounces. Olena, we love it, and now I can make my own! Thank you so much! I never would have thought to ask for the recipe, actually! But I am tickled to have it.

      1. And still come back in 6 months and you will see a comment or two shaming me for a life threatening misrepresentation of a jar of relish! BTW, relish is a very appropriate English name for adjika. Yes, European markets are full of delicious jars with condiments and sides that are pricey. Very popular spreads/dips/relish are with tomatoes, eggplant and bell peppers. Another one you might like is “lecho” and “eggplant caviar”. Google these recipes.

        1. Well, it’s a shame that folks have found using social media as a faceless way to find their bravery (which is soooo cowardly) to sit behind a computer and pick at people. But some do! What can we do? Most of the world are kind. Or I like to think they are.

          I am still making your Sweet Heat continually and we never make a sandwich without it! It’s also been morphed into salad dressing at times. Your blog has been a treasure trove of goodness for us! The Tuna melt, canned salmon salad, I love your soups, the borscht, even your little muffin cup mac and cheeses that you made for kids! Let me tell you, my they’re not just for kids! Lol! So again, thanks so much! I don’t care which part of where your recipes come from! They DO have a flair that I was not raised with, and much of that is from your heart.

          1. Most people are kind. Thank goodness. I believe that! Everyone comes across an occasional asshole here and there.
            Awe, glad you are enjoying! That is an Eastern European flair of poor people mixed with North American ingredients.:) Have a great weekend, Laurel!!!

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