Showing Macedonian food culture

Recipe: Macedonia’s traditional “Tavche Gravche”

Courtesy of Embassy of the Republic of North Macedonia in Japan

Tavche Gravche


  • 4 cups white beans (~500g)
  • 3 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • 2 dried whole chili peppers
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 large onion, sliced into ⅛-inch thick rounds
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Chopped parsley

For the Roux

  • ½ cup sunflower oil
  • 2 tablespoons paprika powder


  1. Place the beans in a 5-qt. or 6-qt. (4.5 litre-5.5 litre) pot and cover with water about 5 cm above the beans.
  2. Pour in the oil.
  3. Add the quartered onions and dried chili peppers
  4. Cook the beans over medium-high heat until soft, about 1½ to 2 hours.
  5. Stir often and add warm water as it evaporates. You are looking for a stew-like consistency.

Once the beans are cooked, prepare the roux. Do not remove beans from heat.

  1. Slightly heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium flame.
  2. Stir in the paprika and keep stirring until just thoroughly combined and fragrant.
  3. Pour the roux into the pot with the beans and stir.
  4. Mix in a tablespoon of salt and continue to boil for 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat.
  6. Preheat oven to 205 C (400 F).
  7. Carefully pour the beans into a large casserole dish, a Dutch oven, or a large clay pot. You don’t want to pour in all the water; add enough water to barely cover the beans.
  8. Place the sliced rounds of onions and the cooked chili peppers on top as garnish.
  9. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Bake the beans for 30 minutes, or until a crusty layer forms on top of the beans.
  11. Remove and let cool 15 minutes before serving.
  12. Add chopped parsley as garnish.
Macedonian red chili pepper

Macedonian dry red chili pepper