D J U V E C – my first ‘fast food’


(Tomatoes, Capsicums, Meat, Paprika and Rice – all in one pot!)


When I grew up in Bonn the words “Fast food” and ‘Street food” were so not used to us – they simply had not entered my generation’s vocabulary – yet!

Nor was the myriad of Middle- and Far Eastern spices known to any of us – yet!

But it introduced me to the wonderful world of spices – and I certainly have not left this ‘spice world’ – yet!

In our schools and colleges we started to learn about different countries in the world, especially on our continent, although hardly any of us had ever ventured out of Germany – yet!

For us Youngsters, a special treat after a visit to the cinema was normally a (newspaper-) cone filled with freshly made ‘fries’ with a dollop of ‘mayo’ on top.

Places like any of those now well-known Burger places, Mo-Mo Restaurants, Pizza Parlours, various Coffee- and Tea Bars, etc. etc. did not even exist in our country – yet!

But all was going to change one day – the first “foreign” Restaurant opened, just opposite the Main Train Station, in our still sleepy little town, by then already the new Capital of Germany.

My memory plays a little dance in my head – it annoys me that I cannot remember the real name of this restaurant, even searching through my box of old old notes from around the world, did I not come up with the right name. So, I herewith name this place “The Balkan Restaurant” (you never know, it just might have been its name all along).

Of course, like Youngsters all over the world, we had to explore en bloc after school/college before heading home. We thought we were in heaven no less – delicious smelling foreign food, big portions, relatively little money and when sharing a plate between 2 or even 3 people it was not a ‘budget killer’.
After having sampled through the menu once or twice soon we established a dish called by the strange name of DJUVEC was our favourite.

The word Đuveč derives from the Turkish word Güveç, which means casserole (traditionally cooked in an earthenware pot).

Having typed this so far I now feel sort of peckish (nothing was left over from yesterday when I prepared this dish from memory, more or less).

Ingredients for 2 pretty hungry people or
Ingredients for 4 with big salad and flat bread on the side


½ kg lean Meat (see notes), cleaned and cut into small pieces
1 x large onion, chopped
4 x garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 x large green chillies, cut finely
½ x large red Capsicum (known as Paprika in Europe), cut small
½ x large yellow Capsicum, cut small


½ x large green Capsicum, cut small
3 x large Tomatoes – skin and seeds removed and cut small
300 x g long grain Rice (I like to use top Basmati rice), wash and keep aside
1 x tsp of mild paprika powder
1 x tsp of chilli powder
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 x Tbsp of tomato paste
2 Tbsp Oil
1 ltr of good meat broth, keep aside

In a wide pot heat oil, add your chosen meat (see notes) and fry very quickly, stirring all the while. Take out and keep aside.


Add onion and garlic to the oil in pot and then all the Chillies, Capsicums (Paprika) and now let all this cook on low heat for a few minutes. Keep stirring often. Now add the previously fried meat, salt, pepper, paprika powder, chilli powder and the tomato paste – stir and add enough meat broth so that it just covers all this.

Cover and now let it simmer for 30 to 45 minutes (depending on the meat you are using – keep checking!) If needed just add some more broth – don’t let it go dry or even burn!!!!


Halfway through add the tomato pieces. Stir once gently. Now mix your washed rice into all this and add more of your meat broth. Keep simmering for maybe another 20 minutes or so without stirring; but towards the end of your cooking time check to see if more broth is needed.

Rice should still have a nice soft ‘bite’ and the whole dish is meant slightly on the moist side rather than dry.


That’s it – all done – serve and enjoy. Guten Appetit!

Notes: You can use Pork, Beef, Veal.

I have eaten this also with some wonderful very hot sausage like ‘Chorizo’ – and it was quite delicious, too.



35 thoughts on “D J U V E C – my first ‘fast food’

  1. That looks delicious! There are many Greek and Turkish kebab shops in London, but I noticed one near me that’s called Genuine German Kebabs. I keep meaning to go and have a look to see if there’s any difference …perhaps they do curry wurst.

    • Mad 🙂 🙂 🙂 !!! ‘Currywurst’ surely is a hugely laughable anomaly the Berliners [for some odd reason] have adopted . . . . OK: an advertisement ‘gone right’!! . . . .

    • ::) 🙂 MD, I just googled but could only find ‘German Doner!…’ gosh, they are all over London. Personally, I do not like those franchised places at all! And Curry Wurst!!!! this deserves an article all on its own – but I will not! 🙂 And btw. the only way, to eat this sausage is from a Buedchen (Stall) after having had a nice cold beer somewhere else, or at a Fair, or Christmas Market, etc. etc. OmG – now I would love one!!!

      • They are quite a new phenomenon here, though I’m not sure why since we already have Greek or Turkish (sometimes both) on most high streets. I’m with you on franchises – it’s somewhat like McDonalds.
        I’ve never eaten curry wurst, but I know Rick Stein loves them, so I feel I really must try them 🙂

  2. What wonderful memories. You have a marvelous way with the camera. Your photos look as if the food is in front of me ready to eat. Have a fantastic day. Sending sunshine from Vancouver. I heard we may get snow tomorrow. Hugs.

      • We are having lots of snow today. Always exciting to view from behind a window with a hot cup of coffee for added warmth. Heading out today with a camera to capture the white stuff. Hugs!!

  3. A cast iron frying pan of all veggy juvechi was something my Romanian mom would make often. I didn’t care for the veggies but would dip fresh bread into the juices for a quick snack as I breezed through the kitchen. (I came to cooking in my mid to late 20s and veggies are still not my favourites.)

  4. Oh, darling Carina, I am the ‘LEAST’ old-fashioned gal in the world but I DO wish I would not have to agree with so many of your – ‘yet’- comments 🙂 !! Could write a lot, bore a lot of readers, but just have to laugh at the top of your ingredient list ‘meat’ . . . . . Baby, that makes a whole lot of sense to me . . . and the rest . . . . .

  5. I certainly enjoyed this post…thinking back to the times before fast food. Your Djuvec sounds similar to something my mother made but yours is more seasoned.

    • Thanks Karen, one of the beauty of this kind of dish is that one can play around with spices according to ones own pallet. We actually like it a bit hotter even, but I did not want to overdo it since I haven’t made this dish for many many years.

  6. I came from a very small town, so when I went off to college I had kind of a similar experience! I remember my nose would draw me into places! 🙂

    This looks like a lovely comfort dish!


  7. Your early memories certainly struck a chord with me, Carina. I remember well all the gradual changes from the ’50s onwards. The first coffee bars, and later on the fast food places, made quite a difference to the ‘look’ of towns as well as to our way of life. In Britain, our traditional ‘bought’ hot food was fish and chips, generally with an outer wrapping of newspaper.
    I love the look and sound of your Duvec, Carina! It seems to be one of those dishes that tantalise the taste buds. 🙂

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