Salsa De Ají - Peruvian Spicy Condiment


3 whole ají amarillo* (can use fresh jalapeños instead)
3 chile de arbol, chopped, seeds removed
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped, use stems
3 tablespoons water
optional: cottage cheese or walnuts (to cut the spiciness).
* found in specialty stores, jarred, frozen or dried


Roast ají amarillo (or jalapeños) in cast iron pan over med high to high heat. Peel and seed. Roast chile de arbol. You can save and roast the seeds or you can throw them away if you don't want it too spicy. Slice the peppers into strips and place into blender.
Heat 1-2 tsp olive oil in frying pan under medium heat. Saute onions until translucent. Add garlic and saute for a short time. Do not allow the garlic to over cook, just sizzle. Remove from heat.
Add onion/garlic mixture to the blender and blend to mix and chop ingredients. Add salt to ingredients in blender.
Add half of the chopped cilantro (TIP: the stems are the best part!) to the blender with 1-2 tablespoons of water (TIP: use water heated from the pan to get more flavor). Slowly blend cilantro into the pepper mixture. As the mixture becomes a paste, add more cilantro and 1-2 tablespoons more water only if needed. Do not over dilute, you will be adding oil and lemon juice later.
When mixture is almost to a paste, test flavor and add salt as needed. Do not over salt!
Spoon mixture out of blender container, into small bowl. Add olive oil and juice from lemon and stir. Flavor improves over night.




This spicy sauce is served with most Peruvian dishes as a condiment. It goes well with meats, fish, rice, and salads.


8.0 servings


Tuesday, March 30, 2010 - 10:59am


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