Cevapčići and Ajvar

Silvana Griffin

This is absolutely the most delicious combo which has been the cornerstone of our family’s heritage all around the world for who knows how long.

What makes this duo really interesting is the debate on whether each of these recipes was originally Croatian or Bosnian – and even more so in my family as my father was from Croatia and my mother, you guessed it, from Bosnia…


Croatian sausages, pronounced chevapchichi 

Best to get this underway the day before to give it time to rest, so the flavours develop and the mixture doesn’t fall apart
as you cook


700g minced veal

300g lean minced pork (or 50/50 veal and pork – total mince 1kg; can substitute beef for veal too, or even equal quantities lamb, veal and pork)

1 red onion, finely chopped or grated

3-4 garlic cloves, crushed

2 tsp sweet / smoked paprika (or use 1 tsp of each; add chilli flakes to taste, if you like too)

1 tsp each salt and pepper

1 tsp bicarb soda

1 beaten egg

200 ml sparkling mineral water or soda water

Olive oil spray

Fresh lemon


  • into a bowl: place the mince, onion, garlic, bicarb soda, paprika, salt and pepper and squish with your hands until well combined; bit by bit, mix in the egg and water by hand until the mix looks somewhat like a paste

  • shape mixture into thin ‘torpedo-shaped’ sausages (say about 10-12cm long)

  • pop onto a paper-lined tray or plate, cover with cling, leave overnight in the fridge. Leave at room temp for around 20-30 minutes before you need to start cooking

  • heat a BBQ or chargrill on medium

  • spray cevapcici with oil and cook, turning them frequently for 10 minutes or until nicely browned and done (not rare)

  • squeeze over some lemon just as you’re about to serve them

  • must have lots of ajvar on hand, along with fresh, crusty bread, some sour cream and great with potato salad dressed with a little garlic, fresh parsley, olive oil and vinegar (no mayo here!)

  • Cross-cultural I know, but also great with fresh tzatziki to dip into

Lip-smacking anytime – and best when they’re just snaffled hot from the grill!


Capsicum relish, pronounced eyevar

This is the one we make and put onto virtually everything, incl sandwiches! Also excellent on scrambled/poached/fried eggs and thick toast…


around 500gm red capsicums

1 good sized eggplant

3-4 garlic cloves in skin

olive oil spray

1 garlic clove extra, skinned and crushed

½ -1 lemon, juiced (depends on how big/juicy they are)

around ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

2-3 tbspns flat leaf parsley, finely chopped


  • preheat oven to 220-230°C

  • place capsicum, eggplant and unskinned garlic cloves on a tray lined with baking paper, quickly spray with oil and roast until tender, skins have blackened and the garlic is softish – around 30-45 mins depending on your oven

  • pop into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside to cool. Gently remove all the skins (and seeds from capsicum; squish soft garlic into the mix), roughly chop the lot and place into a food processor along with the fresh, crushed garlic and any juices that have drained from the roasting/cooling process

  • process and with the motor running, gradually add lemon juice and olive oil until mixture is thick and creamy

  • spoon into a serving bowl, season with salt and pepper to taste, stir in the parsley and you’re good to go!