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Jun 30, 2006 05:00 PM

Piri-Piri Spice

Or Peri-Peri, or peli-peli, depending on where you're from, I guess.

I got some from a coworker who just returned from Spain. She bought a large bag of it and knowing my love of cooking and trying new spices and herbs, she gave me about a half-cup's worth.

Through the bag, it smells like smoked paprika. Googling offers up the Wikipedia article on the piri-piri pepper, so I'm assuming either dried/ground piri-piri or cayenne pepper, dried garlic chips, and probably some salt/pepper and dried parsley - or maybe thyme?

Anyway - I plan to mix it with some fresh lemon juice and olive oil and use it as a rub/marinade for a small pork tenderloin tonight for dinner.

Any suggestions on how else to use it? Roasted potatoes?

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  1. If it's the real thing, with piri-piri pepper from Africa, try it with large shrimp. I use it as a rub or make a simple marinade. Grill quickly. It is blazing hot and delicious. It's served in restaurants a lot in South Africa, my birthplace.

    5 Replies
    1. re: cheryl_h

      I'm not sure if has real piri-piri pepper. In Googling, I found out the Scoville unit on some piri-piris can go up to 175,000. That's a good bit hotter than I can stand. :-) So I will go gently with the spice to start.

      My coworker did use it on shrimp a few days ago, and she loved it.

      1. re: LindaWhit

        Yes it is hot. But it sounds like you may have a blend and not 100% chili? You should taste it - just a tiny amount on a fingertip - to see before putting in on your food. I found some piri-piri marinade one time and was in ecstasy, probably not because it tasted terrific, just reminded me of home. Enjoy!

        1. re: cheryl_h

          I haven't opened the little bag she put it in, but it definitely smells very smoky, liked smoked Spanish paprika, so I'm assuming it's not 100%. Especially since it has dried garlic chips and a green herb (dried parsley?) in it as well. I'm looking forward to it!

          1. re: cheryl_h

            OK, I've made the "marinade". Tasted it first - not super-hot, so it's definitely not pure piri-piri. I used about 1 Tbsp. of olive oil, 2 Tbsp. of white wine, 2 tsp. of lemon juice, and about 3/4 tsp. of piri-piri spice blend....and it turned a brilliant orange-yellow! I'm assuming there's saffron in this mix to turn it that color - is that usual in this mix?

            1. re: LindaWhit

              I would guess that there's tumeric rather than saffron, but that's just a guess. Your mix sounds very interesting, I've never had a Spanish version, only the South African/Portugese ones.

      2. In Portugal they use it on chicken. Piri-piri chicken is wonderful. Add a little olive oil to it and rub it on the chicken before baking or BBQing. Also, look online for recipes from Portugal.

        1. One of my favorite fast-food chain is Nando's, which has branches in Canada but not the US, and is famous for Piri-Piri Chicken. Their sauces are available in the US, though, according to their website.

          "peri-peri is known to be an aphrodisiac, which means you'll love it on the table and other interesting places"

          -- Nando's website

          1. Reply to Cheryl H, since I can't reply directly under her post with the 5 reply limit - turmeric makes much more sense than saffron, especially since my coworker said she got the bag of spice for a song in the market. Thanks!