Living here in the north west of Bosnia and Herzegovina means that I am constantly exposed to the various traditional and cultural activities that pop up pretty unannounced from time to time.
I never ever tire of it.
Take for example a typical Friday. We are all sitting together discussing what to eat for the weekend and Tamara’s father, Predrag suggests Kotlić.
Predrag is a master when it comes to Kotlić.
Kotlić is actually the name of a traditional metal container with a handle but seems to now be associated with a variation in Goulash with a Balkan, rather than Hungarian twist. Well that’s how I view it.
The meal is cook in an open container over an open, wood fuelled fire.
The basic ingredients for our meal:
Homemade Tomato sauce (not ketchup)
Red Bell a Pepper
Herbs to your liking
Basically the onions and bacon are fried off then the ingredients into the Kotlić.
Add water and cook for 2-2.5 hours.
The skill comes from the experience of cooking without an oven thermometer or a watch!
Predrags just “knows” when it’s ready.
We accompanied our meal with fresh bread, picked cucumbers, Ajvar and Tamara made an amazingly refreshing salad from young cheese (almost like a thick joghurt) mixed with diced fresh spring onions and cucumber from the garden.
Predrag and I had domestic rakija from the Tuzla area of the country.
The ladies had domestic red wine from a nearby micro vineyard.
Young Viktoria had fruit juice.
All in all a wonderful social afternoon.
If you would like to find out more about my life here in the village or the western Balkans in general just comment below or drop me a line on the contacts page.