Ajika is usually red, though green ajika can be made with unripe peppers. The name itself comes from the Abkhaz word аџьыка "salt" (the more descriptive аџьыкаҟaҧшь (literally, "red salt") and аџьыкаҵәаҵәа are also used to refer specifically to ajika).
The Abkhazian variant of ajika 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 ajika exists that is sometimes called svanuri marili in Georgian (სვანური მარილი "Svanetian salt"); this looks like small red clumps mixed with a looser version of the spice mixture. Home-made ajika is available from many market stalls in the Caucasus and in the Krasnodar Krai of Russia. Tomatoes are not an ingredient of traditional ajika, though different versions of ajika, sometimes having tomatoes as a main ingredient, are produced on a commercial scale and sold in supermarkets in Russia and Ukraine.
In appearance and consistency ajika resembles Italian red pesto. The spiciness varies from recipe to recipe; those acquainted with British-Asian curry styles would probably rate a typical ajika as "vindaloo strength".