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Ljutenica, lyutenitsa or lutenica (Serbian: љутеница, Bulgarian: лютеница, Macedonian: лутеница; lyuto or luto meaning "hot") is a spicy vegetable relish or chutney in Bulgarian, Macedonian and Serbian cuisines.
The ingredients include peppers, carrots, eggplant, onion, garlic, black pepper, vegetable oil, sugar, and salt, and tomatoes. It comes in many varieties: smooth; with bits; with extra tomatoes, peppers or eggplant; and spicy or mild.
Ljutenica may be slightly spicier than the other popular relish, ajvar. However, different regions and countries have substantially different interpretations of these relishes. Traditional Bulgarian lyutenitsa is less hot than ajvar.
In Bulgaria, lyutenitsa comes in a jar and is often used as a spread on toast and breads. It is also popularly eaten with many meats, meatballs and kebapcheta. Most households will have this in their house all year and it is a cherished favorite of many.
In recent years, industrial production of ljutenica, as well as ajvar, has flourished. Large-scale production of both relishes has popularized them outside the Balkans.
- Pindjur, like ljutenica and ajvar but with eggplant (aubergine)
- Zacuscă, a similar vegetable spread in Romania
- Kyopolou, an eggplant-based relish in Bulgarian and Turkish cuisines
- Biber salçası, a Turkish spread made from red peppers alone
- Chushkopek, an appliance used to prepare peppers for ljutenica
- List of dips
- List of sauces
- List of spreads