Sunday, March 21, 2010

Aji Molido, or Pepper Sauce: The Spice of Peruvian Cooking

don CuchoImage by TravelingMan via Flickr

There's been so much going on around here lately that I've kinda been slacking on recipes and cooking stuff. Well, that just won't do for a blog that's s'poseta be about what we're eating! So let's see if we can't start making a little amends for that.

I read an article in the news today that said that a full 42% of tourists who come to Peru make their decision based at least in part on the food! That's right - people are coming here just because everything is SO delicious! And one of the things that makes it so delicious is the wonderful spices used in cooking. The most important of the spices are the different kinds of aji (ah-HEE), or peppers, used to give the food heat and flavor. No matter what food is served, there's always a little bowl, jar or bottle of liquified aji on the side. And today, I'm going to tell you how it's made. Yay!

It takes about 12 aji (amarillo, panca or mirasol) to make one cup of aji molido.
Take your aji, and devein/deseed them.
Put them in a pot, cover with water and bring it to a boil.
When they're soft (it doesn't take long) take them out of the water and peel them.
Liquify in the blender - you can add a little of the water you used to boil them in to get the consistency right. Some people like to add a little oil for consistency instead of water.

This will last in the refrigerator for about 3 days. If you want to make a lot in advance, you can put it in ice cube trays and freeze it in single servings like that.

Finally - a lot of times when I put recipes on here, I tell people to check at their local Latin market for ingredients. But what if you live in a place where there isn't a Latin market, or if you just aren't able to find the ingredients you want? is your FRIEND! Check out some of the stuff I've found there:

Pasta de Aji Amarillo/Hot Yellow Pepper Paste
Aji Amarillo, Destemmed - 1 Lb Bag / Box Each
Salsa de Aji Panca/Panca Pepper Sauce

....among others. So, if you've had trouble finding ingredients for cooking up delicious Peruvian recipes, check out

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  1. Hi Kelly..ive always tried your receipes,there simple to follow which i love
    ive read your page lovely kitchen you have now , and great colours too,i love strong colours ....funny in Australia bright stong colours you wouldnt have,but here yes
    How is your could you not fall in love with Chance hes adorable,he was probably waging his tail and thinking to himself geee whats all the fuss
    Take care my friend

  2. Hey Kelly.sorry my mail went under Anonymous
    when i put my profile in for Rozzy ..under name , the mail would not go to you,it kept saying try again,,,i dont know what i was doing wrong....maybe i needed to use OpenID..i was using NAME/URL What does that mean jejejeje

  3. Hey Rozzy!

    I'm so glad to know that the recipes work for you - I don't use always use recipes for cooking myself, and just try to write down as close to possible as how I do it! I absolutely LOVE the kitchen the way it's being painted - it's about half way done now, I'm going to post before and after pics when it's all done.

    And Chance was my grandparents' dog - I lived with them before I moved to Peru, and after they passed we brought him down here to live with me. He's a good ol' dog. :D

    If you have a website of your own that you'd like people to visit, put your name in the Name spot, and then the website address in the URL - that way, people can click on your name to go to your website.

    When will you be back in Peru?

  4. Kelly! (a.k.a Chef of the Future), do you know how to make that 'aji' to accompany Pollo a la Brasa? It is creamy and sort of yellowish. Thanks!


  5. Hola Mammalu :D

    I'm pretty sure that aji huacatay, no? I haven't made it before, (I buy it at Plaza Vea :X ) but I did a search and found some recipes for it on the internet. I'll have to try one, see how it comes out. It looks like huacatay is a leaf/herb/seasoning sort of thing, and you mix it with aji amarillo and rocoto + some other stuff.

    And you need to get over to my new blog, I've moved all this over there, and all my new stuff will be there from now on.

  6. allrighty! but that sauce can make my boyfriend finally marry me.... LOL (work it!) thanks,



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