South Africa Table Mountain

Piri Piri Sauce, Piri Piri prawns and Piri Piri chicken,
the Big 3 of Portuguese-South African cooking.

There are a large variety of Piri Piri sauce recipes, which does not always make it easy to find one to your liking. Much depends on the ingredient mixture and especially the type of Chili pepper one uses. After that it is a of taste I think, which is very much a subjective matter.



The main feature of South African Piri Piri (Peri Peri) sauces or marinades, which is also its magic, is the use of the locally grown "African red devil" or African "birds eye" chillies, an extremely hot cultivar of the chilli pepper.

Originating in South America, it was introduced into Africa by the Portuguese in the days when Angola and Mozambique were Portuguese colonies.

Together with the even more typically Portuguese ingredients like for example olive oil, lemon juice and garlic, the fiery hot Portuguese cuisine has always been very popular in South Africa. Dishes such like Piri Piri chicken and Piri Piri prawns have almost become national symbols.

The locally grown African birds eye peppers, also called African red devil - Piri Piri Sauce, Piri Piri Prawns, Piri Piri Chicken
The locally grown "African red devil" chillies, also called "African birds eye"
Piri Piri Sauce, Piri Piri Prawns, Piri Piri Chicken

A basic Piri Piri (Peri Peri) sauce or marinade is produced simply by heating sieved lemon juice, putting in the freshly gathered and incredibly hot African red devil peppers and allowing it to simmer for exactly 5 minutes. After that it is actually salted and pounded into a paste.

Variety of Peri-Peri sauces - Piri Piri Sauce, Piri Piri Prawns, Piri Piri Chicken
Variety of Peri-Peri sauces
Piri Piri (Peri Peri) Sauce, Piri Piri Prawns, Piri Piri Chicken

Now the paste is warmed up for a second time with additional lemon juice, this time adding olive oil and garlic as well. The end result is a basic but excellent Piri Piri (Peri Peri) sauce which one can use over meats, fish, shellfish etc.

Piri Piri prawns, together with Piri Piri chicken livers and Piri Piri chicken, have become the Big 3 of Portuguese-South African cooking. You have not lived as they say, until you have enjoyed a dish of delectable garlicky Portuguese chicken or Piri Piri prawns, washing them down with ice cold beer or chilled white wine.

Piri-Piri chicken - Piri Piri Sauce, Piri Piri Prawns, Piri Piri Chicken
Piri-Piri chicken
Piri Piri Sauce, Piri Piri Prawns, Piri Piri Chicken

The following is a recipe for a great Piri Piri (Peri Peri) sauce or marinade:

  • 2 Teaspoons red hot chili paste or 10 red hot African birds eye chilies.
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice.
  • 2 Teaspoons finely chopped coriander.
  • 1 Teaspoon chopped parsley.
  • 5 chopped garlic cloves.
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  • 1/2 cup olive or peanut oil.
Try this Tip: For mellower flavor, roast the peppers uncovered for 15 minutes at low oven heat (300 degrees F.), cool until easy to handle, then slip off the skins. Otherwise, prepare as directed.

Peri-Peri Mozambique prawns - Piri Piri Sauce, Piri Piri Prawns, Piri Piri Chicken
Peri-Peri Mozambique prawns
Piri Piri Sauce, Piri Piri Prawns, Piri Piri Chicken

Sources for more great Piri Piri (Peri Peri) Sauce recipes.







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