Brought over to Africa by the Portuguese, peri-peri peppers are synonymous with the flavors of southern Africa. The peppers are also known as birds eye chilis and offer a fair amount of heat to a dish. Depending on where you are regionally peri-peri sauce can be a seasoning or a marinade and there is debate as to whether it originally comes from Mozambique or Angola. Either way peri-peri sauce is most often enjoyed with chicken but since it is a coastal country seafood is also very popular. Once such seafood that is well loved is prawns or as we say here in America- shrimp. This recipe for peri-peri shrimp is made on the stove top but you could take it a step further and skewer the shrimp and grill them!
Peri-Peri (Portuguese spelling) or Piri-Piri (African spelling) means “Hot” in Swahili. Unfortunately for me peri-peri peppers are not sold at my local grocery stores so I had to settle on a very different pepper- jalapeño. If you can get your hands on peri-peri peppers you can simply replace the jalapeños in the recipe and you will have an authentic sauce!
- 1/4 Onion cut in large chunks
- 3 Jalapeños cut in half, keep the seeds
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1/2 Tbs smoked paprika
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 Tbs lemon juice
- 1/4-1 tsp red pepper flakes depending on desired spicy level
- 1 lb Shrimp, shells and tails removed and deveined
- 1 Tbs butter
Step 1: In a large hot dry pan, char the onion petals and jalapeños.
Step 2: Place all ingredients but the red pepper flakes, shrimp and butter into a blender or food processor and combine.
Step 3: Sauté the shrimp in a large pan, add the peri-peri sauce and stir to combine.
Step 4: Taste and adjust the seasoning- salt, pepper add red pepper flakes.
Step 5: Add 1 Tbs butter to finish the sauce, stir to coat and serve.
Corn and Rice Bread
Like all good spicy cuisines of the world you need a bread to help soak up all those spices. In this case Angolans enjoy cornbread with rice. The rice is baked inside the bread and it adds another texture to an already tasty bread.
- 14 ounces ground cornmeal (400 g)
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 7 ounces cooked rice (200 g)
- 12 1/4 ounces whole milk (360 ml)
- 3 eggs
- 2 tablespoons oil
Step 1: Preheat oven to 375 degrees (190°C)
Step 2: Sift all the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl
Step 3: In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs then mix in the oil, milk and rice.
Step 4: Mix wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and combine well.
Step 5: Pour the mixture into a well-oiled baking pan, place in pre-heated oven and bake for 30 minutes.
Step 6: Take out of the oven, allow to cool a little then tip from the tin and allow to cool completely before cutting and serving.
I loved dipping the cornbread into the peri-peri sauce, just delicious! I rounded out our meal by adding some raw carrots and a small spinach salad.
I hope to make this again but next time with peri-peri peppers!