Ajapsandali is a traditional Azerbaijani, Georgian and Armenian dish consisting of onions, eggplant, tomato, bell peppers and herbs. Ajapsandali will have a better look if you use peppers of various colours. To preserve vitamins and colour, do not stew vegetables for a long time. Some variations include also potatoes and chili peppers. This is a fabulous hearty one-pot meal. You can pair this with good salty feta unless you want to keep it strictly vegetarian.

prep time 25 min     cook time 45 min
ingredients for 6-7
  • 3 large eggplants
  • 2-3 sweet peppers
  • 1 green pepper
  • 3 onions
  • 4 big potatoes
  • 2 carrots
  • 4-5 big tomatoes (or a can of peeled or crushed tomatoes)
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • chili pepper or peperoncino
  • fresh dill
  • fresh coriander
  • salt and pepper
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • optional: feta cheese

1. Cut the eggplant into cubes, sprinkle salt on them and let sweat while you prepare the other vegetables.

2. Cut the peppers into long strips, the carrots into large rounds and the potatoes into chunks. Slice the onions, chop the garlic and the herbs.

3. Pat dry the eggplant cubes and fry them in olive oil for a few minutes. Turn the heat on low.

4. Add the potatoes, sprinkle some salt and pepper on top. Keep adding in layers the onions and tomatoes, then the peppers and garlic. Add some salt and at the end 1-2dl of water.

5. Turn up the heat to a boil and  then simmer on medium for 35-40 minutes without the lid until the vegetables are cooked and some liquid has evaporated. At the end add the chopped herbs.

6. Serve with crusty bread and some feta cheese.


Lemon pound cake

I love lemons! Hence I love all the lemony desserts. Today I made a lemon pound cake. I was looking for a simple recipe and this one turned out great.

prep tme 25 min     cook time 50 min
  • 200 g butter (soft)
  • 2 dl sugar
  • 3 eggs (room temperature)
  • 2-3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 3 dl flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp vanilla sugar
  • for greasing the bundt pan some butter and flour/sugar/bread crumbs
  • for decorating some zest and powdered sugar

1. Grease and flour a bundt pan and turn on the oven at 175C.

2. Cream butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs one at a time and cream well. Add lemon juice and zest.

3. Mix together dry ingredients and add to the cream folding them well with a spatula.

4. Pour the batter into the pan and smooth with a rubber spatula.

5. Bake at 175C for about 50 min until golden brown and the tester comes out clean.

6. Let the cake cool for 10 min before you invert it onto a wire rack.

7. Leave the cake to cool completely before decorating it with powdered sugar and some zest.

tip 1: use always butter and eggs at room temperature

tip 2: sift always the dry ingredients before adding to the batter


Fried friggitelli peppers in tomato sauce

Friggitelli peppers are small, slender, mild flavoured southern Italian peppers which are great for frying.

They can be just fried adding a fair amount of salt on top which is the way I usually serve them. But this time I wanted something a little different so I made them southern Italian style with tomato sauce.

prep time 10 min     cook time 15-20 min
ingredients for 4-5
  • 500g friggitelli peppers
  • 200g cherry tomatoes
  • 200g (small can) crushed tomatoes
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • peperoncino optional
  • salt
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • peanut oil for frying

1.  Wash and dry well the peppers one by one. The authentic way to cook these is to leave the stem and seeds on.

2. Pour peanut oil until it covers the bottom of a large skillet and heat it over high heat. Fry the peppers in two batches until they are turning brown (about 3-4 min) on all sides.

3. Remove them and add a fair amount of salt.

4. Clean the skillet and heat a few tablespoons of olive oil. Add garlic and after a few minutes add cherry tomatoes cut in half. After a few more minutes add crushed tomatoes and some salt and let cook on low for 15 minutes.

5. Add peppers to the pan and let simmer for a few minutes more.

6. Serve with crusty bread and be sure to wipe up all the sauce. I make this always as a main but if served as a side dish, this amount yields more.

FOR GLUTEN-FREE option, leave out the bread or use appropriate bread.