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Adjika

Adjika is a hot, spicy but subtly flavored paste often used to flavor food mainly in the Caucasian regions of Samegrelo and Abkhazia. Adjika is usually red, though green adjika can be made with unripe peppers.  The name itself comes from the Abkhaz word "salt" (the more descriptive (literally, "red salt") and are also used to refer specifically to adjika).

In the European traditions, sauces are often served in a sauce boat.The Abkhazian variant of adjika is based on a boiled preparation of hot red peppers, garlic, herbs and spices such as coriander, dill, blue fenugreek (only found in mountain regions such as the Alps or the Caucasus), salt and walnut.  A dry form of adjika exists that is sometimes called in Georgian "Svanetian salt"); this looks like small red clumps mixed with a looser version of the spice mixture.

Home-made adjika is available from many market stalls in the Caucasus and in the Krasnodar Krai of Russia.  Tomatoes are not an ingredient of traditional adjika, though different versions of adjika, sometimes having tomatoes as a main ingredient, are produced on a commercial scale and sold in supermarkets in Ukraine and Russia.

In appearance and consistency adjika resembles Italian red pesto. The spiciness varies from recipe to recipe; those acquainted with British-Asian curry styles would probably rate a typical adjika as "vindaloo strength".


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