Food you shouldn’t miss when you are on hiking in Eastern Serbia – part 1

To get to know a country, it’s people, customs and habits, the best way to do it is to visit it. And of course, take a hike there :).

But, by far the best indicator of a country’s culture and it’s people is the local food. Traditional cuisine in Eastern Serbia is a mix of skill and knowledge. What is characteristic for it is that besides the specific way of traditional preparation,  almost all foods and herbs are produced by the people who lives there. This is due to extremely fertile land and favorable climatic conditions.

What you should not miss and certainly need to try, if you visit Eastern Serbia, is “bob” or “pihtije od boba” (broad bean aspic). For this occasion we have prepared you a recipe if you want to try this specialty at your home. It’s very fast and easy to prepare and usually served as cold appetizer accompanied by rakija (plum or apricot brandy).

Broad Bean Aspic – “bob” or “pihtije od boba”


  • 300g dried peeled broad bean
  • 120 dl sunflower oil
  • 3-5 garlic clove finely grated
  • appox. 3 spoonfuls flour
  • 1 full teaspoon of not hot crushed pepper
  • salt
  • oil and crushed pepper for topping



Wash broad bean under running water. Soak it in cold water and leave over  night to become swollen. The next day boil it 3-4 hours. I never had it so soft as bean, but even if it is a bit hard in the center, the result is good. Strain the broad bean and keep a little water it boiled in. Adding this water make dense broad beans puree in the food processor. If you have a masher you can use it, too. Put finely grated garlic in a pot with hot oil and fry it for short and ad flour and a full teaspoon crushed pepper and mix energetically for about 30 seconds. Get off thering, add strained broad bean and a little fluid if needed, mix, salt, return it on the ring and mix energetically for a couple of minutes like when you make polenta. It should be as dense as polenta. In the end make it more tasty by adding salt or finely grated garlic.

The dish you pour it in, oil a bit and pour broad bean puree and flat it with wet spoon or wet hands. Our dish is 20 x 20 cm. Leave it to cool. Cut into cubes, rhombus or triangles. Pour browned flour made of little oil (about 100 ml) heated with crushed pepper over cold broad beans. Quantity of oil depends on the dish size. Oil should cover the aspic 1-2 mm deeply so it has got nice red color. Serve in warmish or cold.


The recipe is taken from a book “The tastes of Stara planina mountain”, by Dejan Zagorac
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