Makalo is perhaps one of the most recognized recipes of the Macedonian cuisine. It is essentially a potato onion mash, with some added ingredients that make up for quite an attractive taste. Makalo is often served before the main course, along with salad and Macedonian beverage, but it is also nutritious enough to substitute a main course at home.
This Macedonian specialty can be enjoyed across all rural areas in Macedonia, but also in more urban areas such as the capital city of Skopje.
Rarely can you see a rich carbohydrate mash that passes easily as a dressing. So let's skip this intro and learn how to prepare one of the most popular Macedonian recipes.
Step 1: The Ingredients
For this recipe, you don't need a full grocery basket. It is definitely a testament to Macedonian simplicity, and how they manage to cook delicious recipes with only few handfuls of organic produce. I've been on a vacation in Macedonia, and tell you what - there is no shortage of vegetarian meals that delight the senses.
The list of ingredients for preparing the Makalo inludes:
- 5-7 medium sized potatoes
- 2 small onions
- Few cloves of garlic (but you can use the whole head if you so prefer)
- Tomato sauce
- Ground Cayenne red peppers
- Ground Chili peppers
- Sunflower seed oil
Some of the Macedonian recipes are very hard to prepare in the way that most of the ingredients are scarce if you try to shop in urban areas. Luckily, however, the Makalo recipe ingredient list can be bought anywhere.
So let's start with the preparation.
Step 2: Chop and Cook the Potatoes
Potatoes go first since you'll need less time for the onion. You'll have to peel off the skin, cut them in pieces, and keep them into a pot of boiling water until they become soft.
Step 3: Add the Onion and Chili Peppers
Next goes the onion, along with the ground chili peppers (few minutes after the onion). You can start cooking the onion when the potatoes have been already one or two minutes under the temperature of the boiling water.
Step 4: Make a Consistent Mash
Then, you should add the tomato sauce, and make everything into a consistent mash. If the pot is deeper, make sure to use a press with a long handle.
Step 5: Preparing the Sauce
Peel and press the garlic cloves and put them aside.
Heat some of the sunflower oil (quantity as shown in the picture), and add the ground red pepper.
Add the garlic and stir until the sauce gets consistent. It should be very hot, so be careful.
Step 6: Pour the Sauce on Top of the Mash
Carefully, you'll proceed by adding the sauce inside the pot, which by now is off the fire and has therefore cooled.
Stir once again, until you achieve the desired consistency in color, and the Makalo is ready to be served.
Step 7: Enjoy!
Add a bit of oregano on top, or perhaps some chopped parsley, but do it while the mash is still hot. That way, the smell emanating from the dish would be an experience to remember.
That's the way I've been introduced to this wonderful recipe while dining out in the small village town of Mavrovo. Considering the fresh mountain air, the smell from the food was much more potent and vibrant.
And that's pretty much it. As you can see, making Macedonian Makalo is quite easy and very straightforward. Prepare this for your friends and family, so they can taste one of the most popular recipes from the Macedonian, and Balkan cuisine.