Lyutenitsa (lute meaning Hot or Spicy) is a popular spicy relish snack that is eaten in Bulgaria nationally (it is also known as a vegetable spread).
The relish is eaten with a range of different dishes; accompanying main dishes, or served with chopped vegetables, or bread as a popular snack or starter.
Many Bulgarians traditionally choose to prepare their own Lyutenitsa, using fresh and all natural ingredients, and the range of ingredients used does vary between the different regions. The product is also now produced on a mass scale by a number of brands making it available ready to eat.
The most common ingredients used in Lyutenitsa relish are eggplant, tomatoes, peppers, garlic, onion, black pepper, salt, sugar and vegetable oil.
Ingredients (will vary depending on personal preference)
20 lbs red peppers
3 lbs tomatoes
2 1/2 cups oil
2 cups sugar
20-25 chili peppers, assorted
1/3 cup salt
Black Pepper to taste
Firstly begin by roasting the red peppers lightly, do not over cook.
Peel and seed the roasted red peppers and blend them down into a puree form.
Take your tomatoes and bring them to a boil in a large pan over a high heat. Once the water is boiled, turn the head down low and cook for approximately 15 minutes, stirring at intervals.
Take your pureed roasted pepper and add this into the pan, stir this constantly for 10 minutes (If you want to add roasted eggplant into the mixture, remove their skins and blend them to puree also, then stir these in).
Now the mixture will begin to get thicker and boil, this is when you should add the salt and sugar. Then continue to cook for 10 minutes on a low-medium heat (thickness of Lyutenitsa will depend on personal preference, water can be added to thin).
Add the ground chili pepper whilst simmering. Also black pepper can be added to personal taste if preferred.
You can then serve the Lyutenitsa once cool, and store the remaining mixture in jars, in the refrigerator.