Grandma’s Delicious Vegan Pinjur Recipe (Roasted Pepper Dip)

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What is Pinjur?

One of the most famous dips in Eastern Europe (the Balkan region) is Pinjur, an appetizing relish made with green peppers, fresh tomatoes, garlic, salt, and parsley. This delicious dip is usually enjoyed in summer alongside white cheese, homemade bread, and olives.

Ingredients:

  • 500 gram long green peppers
  • 2-3 big tomatoes
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 cup sunflower oil
  • salt
  • parsley (optional)
Banana peppers, tomatoes, kalamata olives, garlic, parsley, sunflower oil, salt, and vegan feta cheese
Courtesy of Padma from Gratefully Vegan

Cookware:

  • A grill or an oven
  • A big salad bowl or earthware (it’s always better in earthware)
  • A pestle for grinding the garlic and the peppers

Instructions:

1. Bake the peppers on a grill on all sides (You can also use an oven to bake the peppers).

Green and red banana peppers charring on a grill
Courtesy of Padma from Gratefully Vegan

2. Once baked, transfer them to a plastic bag for some time until they are not too hot.

A grandmother transfers peppers to a plastic bag to cool
Courtesy of Padma from Gratefully Vegan

3. Peel the peppers and remove the stem and seeds. Wash the peppers with warm water and set them aside.

A grandmother peeling the charred skin off of cooked banana peppers
Courtesy of Padma from Gratefully Vegan

4. In the mortar (or a bigger earthware) add the garlic and start bashing and muddling until it’s smooth. Then, add the peppers and keep on muddling. Leave chunks in the mixture (they don’t have to be completely smooth).

Peeled garlic in a mortar
Courtesy of Padma from Gratefully Vegan
A grandma mashing peppers in a mortar with a pestle
Courtesy of Padma from Gratefully Vegan

5. Next, peel the tomatoes, chop them into cubes, and add them to the mixture. Keep on muddling until everything is combined. There should be some pieces left, and that is good. Add salt.

A woman chopping peeled tomatoes into cubes
Courtesy of Padma from Gratefully Vegan
Combining peeled, mashed tomatoes with the pepper and garlic mixture
Courtesy of Padma from Gratefully Vegan

6. In a saucepan heat up the oil. When the oil starts sizzling, transfer it to the mortar. Let it sizzle for a moment, and then mix everything together.

Adding hot sunflower oil to the pepper and tomato mixture
Courtesy of Padma from Gratefully Vegan

7. Top it with some chopped parsley. Serve it with vegan feta cheese, olives, and bread.

Enjoy!

A bowl of pinjur ready to eat and enjoy
Courtesy of Padma from Gratefully Vegan

About This Recipe

Growing up in Macedonia, I absolutely loved the pepper harvest season. The smell of fresh-baked peppers was always enough to make my mouth water. You could always find the grannies in their yards baking peppers, jarring them, and making delicious spreads. My grandma would do this every year in early Autumn. My sister, my aunt, my mom, and I would even sometimes help her to peel the peppers.

Some of the most common jarred spreads made in this period are Ajvar, Malidzano, Lutica, and Pinjur. While they’re are all made with peppers, they all taste differently. My favorite one of them has always been Pinjur. I love how light it is and how easy it is to make. It’s perfect as a breakfast or meze (starter) in the summer, especially when it’s been cooling in the fridge for 1-2 hours.

A plate of pinjur surrounded by a variety of fresh ingredients
Courtesy of Padma from Gratefully Vegan

Of all the amazing things this tasty snack offers, the best one is that it’s vegan. When I went vegan 7 years ago, my grandma always wanted to cook something for me. But it was always hard for her to find new recipes. One day when we were baking some peppers on her balcony, on the old Kjumbe (outdoor stove heated by wood), I mentioned to her that we should make some fresh Pinjur and eat it for lunch. She got excited and started bringing ingredients. This memory fills my heart with joy, and it reminds me that this is my grandma’s way of showing me affection, by cooking me the food that we both enjoy together.

What makes this dish even more special is the tradition around it. Pinjur can be enjoyed right away, or it can be jarred for the winter. The process of jarring can take a whole day, and it usually requires multiple people to finish the job. When the beautiful aroma of the baking peppers starts surrounding the neighborhood, some of the neighbors will come and help out with the preparation. It’s like a non-verbal invite for them to come and hang out. This usually starts with having coffee together and would end up with having lunch together.

I love how this simple dish brings people together, and I hope it will do the same for you.

A young woman with her grandmother holding a slice of bread with pepper dip
Courtesy of Padma from Gratefully Vegan

Vegan Pinjur Recipe

Eastern Europe (the Balkan region) relish made with green peppers, fresh tomatoes, garlic, salt, and parsley.
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Balkan, European
Servings 6

Ingredients
  

  • 18 ounces long green peppers (or 500 grams)
  • 2-3 big tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup sunflower oil
  • 1 pinch salt (to taste)
  • parsley (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Grill the peppers on all sides. (You can also use an oven to bake the peppers.)
  • Once baked, transfer the peppers to a plastic bag for some time until they are not too hot.
  • Peel the peppers and remove the stem and seeds. Wash the peppers with warm water and set them aside.
  • In the mortar (or a bigger earthware) add the garlic and start bashing and muddling until it's smooth. Then, add the peppers and keep on muddling. Leave chunks in the mixture (they don't have to be completely smooth).
  • Next, peel the tomatoes, chop them into cubes, and add them to the mixture. Keep on muddling until everything is combined. There should be some pieces left, and that is good. Add salt to taste.
  • In a saucepan heat up the oil. When the oil starts sizzling, transfer it to the mortar. Let it sizzle for a moment, and then mix everything together.
  • Top it with some chopped parsley. Serve it with vegan feta cheese, olives, and bread. Enjoy!

Video

Keyword Dip, Pinjur, Roasted Peppers, Salsa, Vegan

This story was submitted to Love What Matters  by Padma from Gratefully Vegan. You can find more of her recipes on her website and her YouTube. Submit your own story  hereand be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

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