serbian food

Urnebes Salad A Spicy Delight

Urnebes salad Serbian hot side dish

Urnebes salad may not get on with your vision of salad. If for you a salad is just a combination of vegetables or fruit, then this one has nothing in common.

Perhaps, only the name urnebes (meaning – disorder or mess) are enough to convince you that, there is something special about this salad.

In fact, it would be better to say that this isn’t a salad. It’s a kind of creamy spread of cheese and pepper. Although, it’s obviously that this salad comes from the east, similar versions can be found in Mediterranean and Arabic cuisine. 

According Wikipedia Urnebes (Serbian Cyrillic: Урнебес, pronounced -ûr̩nebeːs) is a type of salad characteristic of Serbian cuisine. Its origin comes from the city of Nis and southern Serbia. 

The main ingredients are white cheese and hot chili peppers. While in Southern Serbia people use  the  chopped peppers, in other regions people put  ground dry peppers.

Depending on the type and amount of peppers, this salad  can range from mild to very hot. Generally , this salad goes perfectly as a side dish with barbecue. Sometimes chopped garlic makes an integral part.

Urnebes Salad - Serbs like it hot

This salad can be, depending on your taste, hot or mild. In Serbian cuisine the hot version is the original Serbian edition. There are various recipes for this salad but hot peppers are an indispensable ingredient.

What kind of cheese you should use for this salad? The best is white half fat cheese. In alternative, Greek feta cheese fits well instead of white cheese. Buy, in this case, the salad loses its originality.

Ingredients and Preparation

Some indicative measures of all the ingredients for this salad, depends on own taste. This is the way I prepare this salad.

  • 1/2 kg (1.1 lbs) of white, full fat cheese (Greek feta can be added).
  • 3-4 full tablespoon of ajvar or fine chopped peppers (sweet or hot).
  • 3-4 slices of finely chopped garlic (or powdered garlic).
  • 2-3 tablespoons of oil (I use only olive oil).
  • 2-3 teaspoons of hot ground or sweet ground peppers.
  • 2-3 teaspoons sweet red peppers.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Instead of fresh garlic, if you “mind” it,  garlic powder will do.
  • Knead the cheese well with a fork and then start adding the other ingredients.
  • First add ajvar, mix well and then everything else.
  • You can also use feta cheese instead of white cheese.
  • You can also mix all the ingredients with a mixer, then you will get a foamy, creamy salad.
  • Preparing this salad takes about 3 minutes.
  • Keep it in a sealed container in the fridge.
  • Salad lasts up to 7 days.

N.B: Urnebes salad will last longer if you use hot version. To maintain the originality of the salad, use white fat cheese not feta!

Good appetite!


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