Peri peri is a native African bird’s eye chilli that grows wild in Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and South Africa. Peri peri means ‘chili chili’ in KiSwahili and saying it twice makes sense as it’s one of the world’s hottest chilis. It’s terrific dried in spice blends (some commercial peri peri blends are available – Nando’s is a favorite and comes in a variety of heat options) and also as a fresh sauce served with chicken or fish.
This recipe is fairly simple and showcases the chilies themselves. This recipe is adapted from Marcus Samuelsson; an Ethiopian born, Sweedish rasied, world renound chef. You can sample his creations yourself with his fantastic cookbooks (this comes from Discovery of a Continent), or visit one of his amazing restaurants in New York, Chicago, California or Sweeden to cut out the middleman.
Makes 1 cup
8 red bird’s-eye chilies, seeds and ribs removed to reduce heat, chopped
Juice of 3 lemons
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
1 tbsp chopped parsley
2 garlic cloves
1/2 c olive oil
Combine all incredients except for oil in a blender and puree until smooth. With the blender running, add the oil slowly and blend until well combined.
Store refrigerated for up to two weeks.
Peri Peri Shrimp
Serves 4 as a starter
12 jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 c plus 1 tbsp Peri Peri, divided
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
Toss the shrimp with 1/2 c of the peri peri in a large bowl and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add shrimp and cook for 2 minutes per side, or until opaque. Transfer to a plate and sprinkle with the salt. Squeeze one lime over the shrimp.
Serve atop hot, cooked rice or cous cous. Mix the additional 2 tbsp of peri peri throughout the cooked grain prior to topping with the shrimp. Garnish with quarters of the second lime.
Be warned – this is a very hot dish! A cold beer would go nicely alongside.