I was recently looking at the cherga rugs my grandmother made many years ago. Cherga is a traditional Bulgarian word for hand-made woolen textile made of colored yarn. The green, red, yellow and black strips weave and form strong and vivid cloth - it is beautiful. Today, as I was cleaning the vegetables, I decided to "weave" a vegetable cherga. Here it is...
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Grate the carrots into a bowl. Chop the leaves of a few strings of mint or lemon balm and add them. Mix the olive oil, freshly squeezed lemon and orange juice in a jar or blender. Add a pinch of salt and black pepper and blend well. If the taste of the lemon is too strong, add a pinch of brown sugar. Add the dressing to the bowl and toss the carrots.
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This vegetarian dish is typical for the Balkan cuisine and is known largely by its Turkish name. The legend about the origin of the name tells about a Turkish imam (spiritual leader) who swooned with pleasure when presented with the dish. There are many ways to make the dish, but I will show you my favorite one, where the eggplants are stuffed like boats.
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Today starts Lent in the Eastern churches and in the next few weeks I will try to offer many interesting and tasty recipes to those of you who have decided to fast. I will start with a light, yet full of vitamins zucchini stew. Sauté the onions and leaks in a boiling pot until they get soft. Season with salt and paprika, and mix in the tomato purée.
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This is my favorite Christmas Eve dish and in my humble opinion one of the most traditional Bulgarian recipes. Wash the sun-dried peppers and soak them in hot water to expand and soften. Remove the stalks and deseed the peppers.
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