Slovenian Recipe of the Week: Bujta Repa

By , 25 Feb 2018, 16:37 PM Gourmet
Vegetarian version Vegetarian version Screen shot: Youtube

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Pickled turnip with millet and sometimes pork. 

February 25, 2018

As we already announced in our previous recipe, we follow the tradition of fasting in the weeks of Lent by choosing the simplest and healthiest recipes, which can be further enriched in case you, unlike us, have been paying attention to what you eat throughout the year.

This week’s recipe was originally planned to present some of the local vegetables that are used for early spring salads, as their special characteristic to survive the winter by staying inside the soil, then continuing their growth when the weather gets warmer, allows them to be picked on warmer days throughout the winter. Examples of these are mâche (rapunzel), certain sorts of radicchio (green hearth), some sorts of kale and even leek, if still young enough when the winter comes. The most common salad component at this time of year, however, remains dandelion, which is not a cultivated plant and can be found in almost every early spring grassland of the region.

Still, as last week gave us a cover of snow and polar air is expected to reach us in the upcoming days, we might as well put the salad vegetable plans aside and return to last year’s preserved produce.

zakaj ni motovilca.jpg

A roof in Logatec, today

Pickled or sour turnip, sauerkraut's alternative, is something Slovenes have long survived upon for most of the winter, which can be very long and snowy, and hence fermentation is the only way of not only keeping vegetables fresh for later use, but also enriching them with lactic acid.

There are several recipes that are known to most of the country, and one of them, jota, we have already learned, which means it’s time to look into the second most popular sour turnip recipe, bujta repa.

The fundamental difference between jota and bujta repa is in the source of carbohydrates: potatoes in jota, millet in bujta repa. In these (Slavic) parts of the world millet is known as proso and, since we are looking for grains, not flour, we will be buying kaša instead of moka.

prosena kaša.jpg

The original version of the recipe includes lard, which can be easily replaced by oil and, as you can see in the alternative version of the recipe in the video below, the pork can be left out as well.


1 kg sour turnip

Bay leaves

1 kg pork meat (even better if still on bones, also smoked ribs are ok, or no meat at all)

250 g millet (prosena kaša)

1 tbsp flour

1 large onion

2 cloves garlic

Lard or vegetable oil


Salt (to taste)

Black pepper

Bujta repa is cooked the same way whether you opt to add meat or not: you put sour turnip into the pot, add bay leaves and salt if needed, meat on the top (diced or in larger pieces if cooking with bones), add water so that everything is covered and boil until the meat and / or turnip is cooked (30 – 60 minutes). If you’ll be cooking larger pieces of meat we suggest you cook it on its own for up to an hour before you add it to the turnip.

Once the turnip (and meat) are cooked, add millet on the top and continue cooking until it is done (the grain should start breaking down after about 10 minutes). Millet can be quite thirsty, so make sure there is enough water boiling in the pot before you add it, otherwise your dish could turn into a dumpling.

In a pan we then heat the lard or oil, and stir fry chopped garlic and onion till light brown, add paprika and flour, then while stirring on add a small glass of water. Keep stirring until the water is absorbed and the mixture is smooth, then pour over the turnip, mixing all the ingredients until they boil again, and then the bujta repa is done. You can then add some ground pepper when served on the plate.

Dober tek!

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