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    Peri Peri Sauce

    Peri Peri Sauce is a spicy African condiment with a complex flavor profile. It’s most well known as the star ingredient of Peri Peri Chicken, but goes great with so many things.

    Just a quick whir in the blender, and I can have my very own homemade Peri Peri Sauce. But let me warn you, these flavors are very addictive!

    Peri Peri Sauce is a spicy African condiment with a complex flavor profile. It's most well known as the star ingredient of Peri Peri Chicken.

    I love making my own sauces, they’re so much better than bottled stuff. Some of my top spicy sauces are Salsa Taquera, Harissa Sauce and Jamaican Jerk Sauce.

    This latest addition is right up there with the best of them.

    What is Peri Peri?

    Peri Peri, also known as Piri Piri or Pili Pili, is an exotic, fiery chili sauce with deep African and Portuguese roots. This delicious blend is famous for its perfect combination of heat and flavor.

    Traditionally, African bird’s eye chilis are used in the sauce. They lend the sauce their local name, which is derived from the Swahili word pilipili, which means “pepper”.

    Where it was first created is unclear, but it does seem most likely that the original sauce was created by the Portuguese from African peppers.

    Peri Peri Sauce is a spicy African condiment with a complex flavor profile. It's most well known as the star ingredient of Peri Peri Chicken.

    More recently, the restaurant chain Nando’s has helped Peri Peri become a household name. Originating in South Africa, Nando’s specializes in Portuguese-African cuisine, with Peri Peri chicken being its signature dish.

    Nowadays, bottled Peri Peri Sauce is common on supermarket shelves. But as with most foods, homemade is always best!

    Regarding Bird’s Eye Chilis

    As mentioned, African bird’s eye chilis are traditional. If you can find those, use them.

    A great substitute is Thai bird’s eye chilis, which are readily available in most local Asian grocery stores.

    a bunch of Thai bird's eye chilis

    If you can’t find either of these varieties, other hot red peppers can be used.

    Take note that my recipe uses Thai bird’s eye chilis. If you are using other chili peppers, you will want to adjust the amounts based on how hot they are. African bird’s eye peppers are 2-3x hotter, so if that’s what you have, start with 2 or 3 and taste before adding more. Most chili peppers available in supermarkets will be less hot than Thai.

    Ingredients Needed

    some of the ingredients for this recipe on a plate
    • Thai Red Bird Chilis – Gives the signature heat.
    • Shallots – Makes a sweet base.
    • Garlic – Great aromatic.
    • Red Bell Pepper – Gives sweetness and color.
    • Tomato Paste and White Wine Vinegar – Makes it a little tangy.
    • Lemon – I used both juice and rind.
    • Herbs and Seasonings – Bay leaves, dried oregano, smoked paprika, salt.
    • Olive Oil – Brings everything together.

    Easy Peri Peri Sauce Recipe

    I place all the ingredients except the olive oil in a blender or food processor. Then, I blend everything until it reaches a fine consistency.

    ingredients blended before adding olive oil

    I add in olive oil.

    olive oil added into blender

    and again blend until the oil emulsifies.

    sauce in blender after blending with olive oil

    I always refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to use.

    Peri Peri Sauce is a spicy African condiment with a complex flavor profile. It's most well known as the star ingredient of Peri Peri Chicken.

    Variations

    • Chili Variations – I like to experiment with different types of chilis to achieve varying heat levels.
    • Herb Variations – Sometimes, I substitute dried oregano with fresh oregano or add other herbs like thyme, basil, or cilantro for different flavors.
    • Char the Peppers – For an even deeper taste, I grill or roast the red bell peppers before adding them to the sauce.
    • Swap the Paprika – If you’re not into smoky flavors, you can use regular paprika in place of smoked.

    How to Use Homemade Peri Peri Sauce

    chicken pieces marinating in peri peri sauce

    My favorite use for Peri Peri sauce is as a marinade. It goes great with pork chops, steaks like skirt or flank, shrimp and, of course, chicken. Stay tuned, our next post is Peri Peri Chicken.

    peri peri chicken

    Don’t discard the used marinade! I simmer it in a saucepan for 5-10 minutes, then it makes a great dipping sauce for my marinated meat.

    It’s also a wonderful dipping sauce for things like Fries, onion rings and chicken tenders. Or use it like a salsa. Dip tortilla chips or drizzle it on Tacos or Burrito Bowls.

    It is a great flavor booster for soups or beans. Add in a tablespoon at a time until you achieve your desired taste.

    Peri Peri Sauce is a spicy African condiment with a complex flavor profile. It's most well known as the star ingredient of Peri Peri Chicken.

    Add some spice to your life by mixing up a batch of this amazing Peri Peri Sauce. Once you try it, you’ll see why its popularity is spreading around the globe!

    Make sure to save or pin this recipe so you always know where to find it. And don’t forget to subscribe to GypsyPlate, we’re always cooking up new recipes for you!

    Peri Peri Sauce, on our Gypsy Plate… enjoy!

    jar of peri peri sauce atop the Gypsy Plate

    Try these other easy and delicious condiments
    Remoulade Sauce
    Peruvian Green Sauce
    Sriracha Mayo
    Utah Fry Sauce
    Hollandaise Sauce
    Garlic Aioli
    Tzatziki
    Chili Oil

    featured image for peri peri sauce recipe

    Peri Peri Sauce

    Prep Time: 10 minutes
    Total Time: 10 minutes

    Peri Peri Sauce is a spicy African condiment with a complex flavor profile. It's most well known as the star ingredient of Peri Peri Chicken, but goes great with so many things.

    Ingredients

    • 10 Thai red bird chilis (see note 1)
    • 3 shallots, chopped
    • 6 garlic cloves, chopped
    • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
    • 2 small bay leaves, crumbled by hand
    • 4 Tbsp tomato paste
    • 1.5 Tbsp white wine vinegar
    • 1 lemon (rind + juice)
    • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
    • 2 tsp smoked paprika
    • 1.5 tsp salt
    • ⅓ cup olive oil

    Instructions

    1. Place all ingredients except olive oil in a blender or food processor. Blend to a fine consistency.
    2. Add in olive oil. Blend until the oil is well incorporated and the sauce has a smooth consistency.
    3. Refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to use.

    Notes

    1. We like our piri piri sauce pretty spicy. If you aren't very heat tolerant, start with 5.
    2. Leftovers: Peri Peri Sauce refrigerates well in an airtight container for about 2 weeks.

      It can also be frozen for 2-3 months. Freeze it in ice cube trays, then transfer to a freezer safe zip top bag for later use.

      Each cube is about 1 tablespoon, so you can take out as much or as little as you want.

    Did you make this recipe?

    Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

    Picture of Alpana, blogger and recipe developer at GypsyPlate

    Welcome to GypsyPlate! I'm Alpana, former wordwide tour manager and professional caterer, now full time blogger. I love exploring cuisines from around the world, and my recipes have been featured on sites such as MSN, Parade, Brit + Co, CNET and AOL. You can explore my entire collection of sortable recipes in my Recipe Index or learn more about me here.

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