Fried peppers with tomato sauce

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This is a dish that illustrates how my Bulgarian culinary knowledge intertwines with the cooking practices I’ve learned in Kosovo. Roasted then fried peppers, served with tomato sauce is a traditional Bulgarian dish but here in Kosovo I learned that I could skip the roasting and only fry the peppers. The taste is equally good and actually this saves quite a lot of time. Usually these fried peppers are served in Kosovo with a sauce made of cottage cheese or strained yoghurt seasoned with garlic. “Gjizë me speca” it is called and maybe it is the most popular dish over here. I was about to cook this Kosovo speciality but my hubby unintentionally altered my direction. How? Well, sometimes he is an absent-minded shopper :-). I told him to buy a kilo of fresh tomatoes today, but as he does very often, he ignored what I’ve said and got home with a bag full of produce. And two and half kilos of tomatoes! :-). Yes, I am a greedy indeed, but I don’t think I got very enthusiastic about the perspective of eating tomato salad everyday for the next couple of days. So I came up with this dish, a Bulgarian-Kosovan fusion of flavours. Summerish, gorgeously red and tasty it will be registered in my cookbook. The final result was definitely worth it and I quickly forgot that I found myself with a big unplanned amount of tomatoes. Bless my hubby 🙂

Today I am paying tribute to the Kosovo culinary tradition this is why it will be under the new Kosovo cuisine/Kuzhina Kosovare category.

Ingredients:

1 kg of fresh peppers

1 kg fresh tomatoes

3 cloves of garlic

1 onion, finely chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

1 teaspoon sugar

3 tablespoons of olive oil

Sunflower oil for frying, approx. 250 ml

Parsley

Wash and grate the tomatoes, discard their skin.

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Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and sauté the onion for 5 minutes stirring constantly, then add the sliced garlic. Let it release its flavour for a minute but do not cook it longer, it will become bitter. Add the grated tomatoes, 2 tea mugs of water, the teaspoon of sugar, salt and pepper to taste and bring to a boil. Once the sauce is boiling reduce the heat to low so it starts simmering. Stir with a wooden spoon occasionally. The water should evaporate and the sauce needs to thicken, that’s how you’ll figure out that it is ready. Mine took 1 1/2 hours. When finished add some chopped parsley.

While the sauce is cooking, wash and dry the peppers with a kitchen towel. Heat the sunflower oil in a deep pan and fry the peppers, turning them with a fork to get golden brown on each side. Be careful, the hot oil could be risky.

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Let the peppers cool a bit so you can handle them while peeling their skin. Season with salt to taste.

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Place 2-3 peppers in a plate and add 5-6 tablespoons of the sauce. Serve with bread and white feta cheese.

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Voila! I can assure you this fusion dish was mega delicious, I enjoyed dipping pieces of bread in the sauce and savouring the tangy flavour of the cheese. Remarkable sensation :-)!

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I bet I got you thinking of preparing this dish soon 🙂

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