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Balkan Vegetable Stew “Givetch”

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Serves 4-5 | Prep Time 15-20 | Cook Time 40-45

Why I Love This Recipe

Givetch is a spicy vegetable stew popular in Moldova, Romania, Bulgaria, and Hungary. A Turkish word meaning “clay pot”, its name implies that this dish may have passed from Turkey to Southeastern Europe during the occupation of the Balkans by the Ottoman Empire. This dish is very versatile and may be made either vegetarian or with any type of meat. The best types of cookware for it are either a deep frying pan or a wok. A Dutch oven works well, too. Another good option is, of course, a clay pot. The recipe given here is for a basic vegetarian givetch.

Ingredients You'll Need

1 medium onion
1 eggplant
1 bell pepper (preferably green)
2 medium carrots
1 zucchini
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 8 oz can of tomato sauce
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon paprika (preferable) or black pepper


• Slice the onion into thin rings.

• Sauté the onion in oil until it starts to turn translucent and yellow (5-10 minutes).

• Add chopped carrots and sauté another 5-10 minutes.

• While the carrots are cooking, peel the eggplant using a zebra pattern where peeled stripes alternate with non-peeled skin. Slice the eggplant, zucchini and pepper. Add to the pot when carrots start to soften.

• Add ketchup, tomato sauce, salt and pepper. Mix well.

• Cook on medium-low flame until the vegetables can be easily pierced with a fork.

Make it meaty: Add a handful or two of chopped turkey or ham cold cuts. To make it even more interesting, add sauteed chicken or fish. The upper photo shows givetch with added strips of pepper steak, which were fried in a skillet with only salt and pepper until the meat became soft and tender. The lower photo shows givetch with added sauteed chicken tenders prepared in a wok.

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