Ljutenica Ajvar

The magical ingredient of traditional dining, loyal follower of every festivity, homemade ajvar makes every meal a feast in no time.

In early autumn when Serbia echoes with winemakers’ song, and when the whole country ripens with buxom fruits and vegetables, Leskovac area is covered with red carpets of “šilja”, juicy, fragrant, bright red pepper. It is not known how, but is certain that people from Leskovac know best the secret moment when this red treasure should be harvested, so the ajvar for the next winter would be the tastiest there is.

AjvarWithout any exaggeration at all could be said that the whole Serbia, nearly every household, patiently awaits for Leskovac’s pepper to bring redness to its markets, because for their ajvar they only want the best.

But, it is a whole procedure to fill the pantry shelves with orange jars of favorite spread. Namely, in order to get that fragrant little pleasure-in-a-jar, a lot of time and nimble hands of the housewives are required. And the preparation of ajvar creates a special atmosphere because it is approached in somewhat festive manner.

Everything begins with roasting the peppers. The dust is cleaned from the old wood stoves which have been resting since springtime, because peppers are still the tastiest when they are prepared that way. So from every yard, street or nearby meadow, smell of wood and peppers starts to fill the air. If the man of the house is present, it is known that friends will gather and enjoy a glass of wine or rakija (Serbian brandy).

But this is where the “fun” part of preparing ajvar ends, because what follows next requires true commitment. After the peppers were left to stand for a while, they need to be peeled, washed and dried, and then grinded. That grinded mass is then cooked on low heat with added oil and salt. Then you start filling the jars which are slightly baked in the oven so they could stay closed and kept in cold place for longer period of time.

ajvar2And so jars full of heavenly relish are placed in a row, one after another, and housewives seem to think there is never enough, because just the thought of the winter without ajvar makes each and every one shiver. Our folks say that “health enters through our mouth”, so is there anything better and tastier than a jar full of red earthy treasure?! This vitamin bomb guards our health and vitality, and some even say that peppers, especially the red hot ones are a powerful aphrodisiac.

It is hard to say what ajvar is for sure, it is considered to be a type of salad, side dish, seasoning, spread. There is no translation for word ajvar, nor one is necessary because guests in Serbia know in advance what is good and what they need to try, and certainly on that list is also this authentic product which has been made here on the Balkans for centuries thanks to the good old tested recipe.

Basics of preparation are all the same everywhere, while everyone prepares it according to their own wishes and taste, so ajvar can be a bit sweeter and milder, as well as hot or extra hot. If it is extremely hot and made pure out of chili peppers, it is called “Ljutenica”. Next to ajvar and ljutenica, there is also a “pinđur”, which is prepared the same way as ajvar, just instead of peppers you use eggplants, and after you add hot pepper, onions and lots of spices.

ajvar-620x350-minYou can eat ajvar during the whole year, but it is best in the winter. It goes along with every savory dish, particularly those traditional delicacies like pies, corn bread, prosciutto, roasts and barbeques, and nothing tastes better than a slice of cheese along with it, and some wine from our rich winemaking areas.

So, If you find yourself in Serbia during the autumn, do not miss out ordering this freshly prepared delicacy in some of the restaurants of the national cuisine or taverns. But if you happen to try ajvar in somebody’s house, we should warn you, please do compliment the lady of the house, because all housewives in Serbia are extremely proud of their ajvars and, to tell you in confidence, they believe theirs is the best.

Text copied from www.serbia.com

City of Leskovac

In the heart of the Leskovac valley, on the small river of Veternica, near its point of confluence with Southern Morava, lies the city of Leskovac. Its punjab (meeting point of five rivers) is a very rare geographic phenomenon in the world. Leskovac has some of that, so historically, it was place of meeting for many people, folks and customs. However, it kept recognizable spirit – witty, quick, sharp when needed, and inhabitants full of life who have thousands of jokes about themselves.

Leskovac is first mentioned as a settlement in Glbočica region, which was given as a gift to Stefan Nemanja from Greek tzar Manojlo in 13th century. Dardanians, Avars, Celts, Romans, Byzantines, all of them lived, led wars, and left traces here. Archaeological remains from that period have been found on the hill of Hisar and nearby area. Those collections are in Leskovac Museum. One of the most well-known locations is Queens City Justiniana Prima.It was built by Byzantine emperor Justinian as a sign of gratitude to his place of birth.


The thing for which Leskovac is famous for is Leskovac grilled meat, made from special beef and spices mixture. The original recipe is kept secret, and still hasn’t left the city. Leskovac Grill Festival an homage to this kind of food. It is a seven-day festival which attracts large number of visitors every year. Every august, a smoke cloud is spread from Main street with beautiful scent of ćevaps, burgers (pljeskavica), sausages, meatballs, mućkalica and other grilled delicatesses. Main attraction is making of burger for world Guinness record, the biggest in the world. It is made every year by grill maestros during the Grill Fest.

Septembar is the time for making of “zimnica (winter food). Central, almost ritual event is making of ajvar (side dish made of peppers). Leskovac region is a big producer of quality pepper, so ajvar is made in almost every house. That day, friends gather in backyard for talk and glass of rakija ( Slivovitza ), and with beautiful smell of baked peppers, this speciality is made. Every housewife is proud of her ajvar, so wherever you go, you will get a jar.

Interesting things about Leskovac

• Leskovac got its name from the hazelnut tree (leska), more than 600 years ago. In middle ages it was called Dubočica (swamp), and in Turkish era it was called Hisar (fortress).

• If you are invited to a wedding in this town, two days before the ceremony all the female guests go to the „combing“, a one-of-a-kind, emotional bachelorette party, which is a unique tradition that dates back from ancient times. This is just one of the many customs that cannot be found in the other parts of the country.

• Standard sizes of Leskovac burger (pljeskavica) are „five-ćevaps sized“ (small) and „ten ćevaps sized“ (big). So, the locals have a saying in their spirit: „Five ćevaps are always five ćevaps, but five-ćevaps sized patty is never like five ćevaps“

When you try all the specialties, you can stroll to city park and Toma Zdravković monument, the legendary singer and bohemian from this region. Near is Shop-Djokic’s House, an old building from the Turkish period, which has original look, furniture and objects preserved inside.

Leskovac is surrounded by near the city and easy accessible natural beauties. Vlasina Lake’s floating islands are an eye candy, set in relaxing area which was inspiration to many poets and painters. Kukavica Mountains great for hiking. Its forests, creeks, wells and rich animal and plant life represent the true, untouched nature. Sijarinska banja (spa resort) and its hot geysers and spa centers will make you relaxed and healthier.

Leskovac today is a city of green energy. Complex water systems, solar energy facilities and active recycling enables healthier and safer life in the city. Leskovac also holds a clinic by Dr Miodrag Stojković, world famous scientist, which is specialised in area of artificial insemination and sterility treating. People from all over the Europe come here for therapy.

You will be touched by the hospitality and openness of people of Leskovac and you’ll want to stay just a little bit more, so you can hear another story of old Leskovac, learn some new word or eat five more ćevaps.

How to get to Leskovac?

Leskovac is 275km from Belgrade. You can get to Leskovac via highway E75, after the exit which is approximately 37km after Niš. You can also take one of the regular bus rides from every bigger city in Serbia.

While you are here, do not miss…

-International barbecue days (begins the last week of August-until mid-September)

-International film directing festival LIFFE (every september)

-Making of zimnica, especially making of ajvar in every households at the beginning of autumn

-A great number of taverns throughout the day, and clubs during the night will set you for the unforgettable southern entertainment.

-„Leskovac Summer“ and „Leskovac Carnival“, festivities that are held during the summer. They attract great number of young people and they offer wide range of cultural, entertainment and sports activities

Text copied from www.serbia.com

The Ethno Brvnara Grosh

The ethno restaurant Grosh 7

If you want to try the best barbecue in Serbia, the right place to go is Leskovac.

About us

The Ethno Brvnara Grosh was born out of a desire to provide guests with a sense of peace and satisfaction, all in an authentic rural setting, which takes them back to a time when they spent beautiful days in the countryside. In addition to the beauty that your eyes enjoy watching the traditional ethno ambience, your other senses will enjoy the beauty and taste of traditional dishes and traditional hospitality. About the town of Leskovac, read it >>HERE<<

The ethno restaurant Grosh

In addition to the traditional Leskovac grill, a large selection of national and international cuisine, a large number of ready meals, honeycombs and baking, Groš log cabin has its own internal specialties with original names such as: shepherd’s steak, kosher skewer, steak in a boyish way, Moravian dream and we have grilled peasant meat as something special. The characteristic of ethno log cabin is that all dishes are served in earthenware and wooden containers, as our ancestors did. About food in Serbia >>HERE<<

How to reach us?


Working days 9-24 hours.
Fridays and Saturdays from 9 am to 1 pm. Sundays from 12-22 pm.

Location : ul. Svetozara Miletića bb, Leskovac, Srbija

Phone : +381 (0) 62 242.031

E-mail : rezervacije@restorangros.com

Web : https://www.restorangros.com/contact/

Radovan Petrovic

Nice old fashion set up. Very good food. it’s smoker friendly (maybe too friendly) place.

Dave Carr

This Ethno Restaurant offers a wonderful experience of Serbian food and unique ethnic displays, structures and costumes of different regions. The food is delicious and they happily serve family style for large groups. The service was prompt and excellent. Don’t miss this experience in Southern Serbia.

Larisa van Voorst-Tahirović

As far as the ambient is considered it is nice,old traditional style,but food is not really good. We were really expecting it to be good because we saw good reviews and heard good things about food in Leskovac,but for me it was really average,or even less than average.

All reviews >>HERE<<
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Welcome to The ethno Brvnara Grosh, Serbia