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
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".