Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Balkan Cooking: Cevapi

For many of us, one of the biggest joys of travelling is without a doubt the food. Why else do so many flock to Italy? For the coliseum? You've got to be kidding me... Of course it's for the fresh pasta, deep red wines and grandma's sauce that is "to die for..."

One of the reasons I keep returning to the Balkans is also for the food. There are so many flavours and regional dishes are hearty and tasty. Although cuisine greatly differs from region to region, I'd love to introduce a series on this blog about Balkan cooking, hoping to highlight some favourite eats while travelling through the Balkans. You can always grab cheap flights to your favourite Balkan state when you get that craving for your favourite dish, but it's also nice to be able to make it at home.

What are some of your favourites? Are there recipes you'd like to see featured?

Without further ado: Cevapi
Traditionally Bosnian, these small grilled rolls of ground beef (or lamb) in pita bread are mouth-watering. They're usually served with chopped onions, cheese and ajvar (spicy red pepper paste). 

How to make them:
500g ground beef (or 350g beef, 150g minced lamb)
40ml water
30ml oil (preferrably olive oil)
Salt & pepper (to taste)

1. Combine ingredients the day before, letting it stand in the fridge overnight.
2. Wet hands and shape the mixture into uniform rolls. Place on a tray.
3. Cook the cevapi on a hot barbecue for 6 to 10 minutes, turning frequently so as not to burn.
4. Cevapi can be served on their own or on a pita.