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Ajika (Abkhazian - АџьыкаGeorgian - აჯიკა, Azerbaijani - Adjika) is a Georgian and Abkhazian hot condiment, which is made of paprika with salt, garlic, spicy herbs (green and dried, fenugreek).

Adjika is usually red, but if you use unripe pepper, the condiment will be green. There aren't any tomatoes in the traditional adjikas, but some people call spicy sauces "adjikas".

Аджика

Ajika

OriginEdit

The word "adjika" has Abkhazian origins and means just "salt" (more precisely, the word "џьыка" means "salt", not "Аџьыка". Because "a" is an article. Ачеи-џьыка means "bread and salt", a greeting, like in Russian "хлеб-соль". 

According to one of the versions, when Abkhazian ciobans in the spring went to the mountains to herd the sheep, owners of the flocks gave the ciobans salt. Salt makes animals thirsty, and this makes animals eat more food, and this makes them weigh more. Salt was an expensive product, so for ciobans not to steal it, they admixed it with pepper. But ciobans made excellent condiments out of it and added there coriander, khmeli suneli, garlic. 

A mix like this is called by Abkhazians "апырпыл-джика" (first element - borrowing from Georgian: პილპილი [pilpili] < Persian pilpil <?> Greek πιπέρι), which means "pepper salt", and other people call it just Ajika.

The word has relatives in other languages:

Adyghe - щыгъу

Ubykh - ȝe

Kabardian - šuğu

Shapsug - šuğu

Abaza - šuğö

Osetian "цæхх" (salt) is also a cognate of this word (Vasily Abaev). Possibly, also is Mansi "šäx" and Nenets "šak".

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