Piri piri


The Portuguese brought from Africa a small red pepper called bird’s-eye chilli that they use to make a popular hot sauce. In Portuguese both the pepper and the sauce are called piri piri (pronounced peeree peeree).

Restaurants that serve grilled chicken often make their own piri-piri sauce. What happens if you ask for their recipe? Here are some sample answers: “My Engleesh is not bery good, sory,” “We get it from Spain, you have to ask there.”

After years of undercover work, we gathered some piri-piri intelligence to share with you. The base of the sauce is usually vegetable oil, although a few restaurants use olive oil. Often, the piri-piri peppers are simply combined with the oil and left alone for a few days. In some cases, the oil is warmed to absorb more quickly the taste of the piri-piri pepper. Some recipes use vinegar, whisky, cognac, salt, parsley, coriander, cilantro, or garlic. No matter which version you try, piri piri will spice up your life.

5 thoughts on “Piri piri

  1. It is difficult to describe how sublime pieri pier is. Some moderation is called for but I never quite manage.

  2. It’s true. It will spice up your life! We make it at home. Extra virgin olive oil, whisky and a heap of birds-eye chillies. Shake them up in a big jar and leave for six months. Now you have a ‘mother’. As the quantity goes down, simply add more oil and whisky. The peppers can be replaced every now and again. Quite unlike any ‘piri-piri’ you’d buy in a shop. Amazing.

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