Kyopolou is a popular Bulgarian and Turkish relish made principally from roasted eggplants
. Often bell peppers
are added. Kyopolou can be consumed as a bread spread, a condiment, or as a salad.
The kyopolou is a typical eggplant appetizer for the Bulgarian cuisine. The relish is popular in the Balkans in different variants and names (e.g. ajvar or pindur). In Romanian cuisine it is called zacusca—a word of obvious Slavic origin, possibly pointing to the southern Bulgarian neighbours as the source. It is generally prepared as a canned food, in glass jars, for the winter season. However, it is not unusual that it is prepared as a main dish. It generally consists of baked eggplant, onions
, baked kapia red peppers, bell peppers, tomatoes or homemade tomato juice (which is made by boiling for thickening juice extracted from tomatoes, usually with added salt and/ or sugar), black pepper
, laurel leaves and garlic. Some also add hot peppers, or extra black pepper. Taste can vary from light and sweet to hot and peppery. Chopped onion is sauteed in (usually) sunflower oil
, then chopped bell peppers are added (preferably red), followed by eggplant and chopped or minced baked kapia peppers and finely minced tomatoes, tomato juice or tomato paste. Black peppers and laurel leaves are added for flavoring. It is usually oven cooked in pots or casseroles. It is used as a spread on bread slices (sometimes toast) or as an appetizer before the main course, served with regular meals. During summer and autumn months, when its ingredients are usually readily available it is also a main dish, mainly during orthodox fasting periods.