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What Ingredients Make Up Peri Peri Sauce?

Peri Peri sauce is a popular and versatile sauce that has become increasingly popular around the world. The sauce originates from Africa, specifically Mozambique and Angola, and is also commonly used in Portuguese cuisine. In this blog, we will explore the history of peri peri sauce, the main ingredients, how to make it, and a popular recipe that uses peri peri sauce.

The Origin of Peri Peri Sauce

Peri sauce is rooted in African cuisine, specifically in Mozambique and Angola. Peri peri means “pepper pepper” in the Swahili language, which refers to the use of chili peppers in the sauce. Chili peppers have been a part of African cuisine for centuries, and peri peri sauce is just one example of how it has been used to add flavor and heat to dishes.

The Portuguese are credited with introducing peri peri sauce to Europe. They were the first to establish trading routes with Africa and subsequently brought the sauce back to Portugal, where it became a popular condiment. The Portuguese then introduced peri peri sauce to their colonies, including Mozambique and Angola, where it became a staple in the local cuisine.

Ingredients in Peri Peri Sauce

The main ingredients in peri peri sauce include chili peppers, garlic, lemon juice, and salt. Some variations may include other ingredients, such as vinegar or tomato paste, to enhance the flavor or texture of the sauce.

Chili peppers are the backbone of peri peri sauce, and the type of chili pepper used can greatly impact the flavor and heat level of the sauce. Bird’s eye chili is a common choice for peri peri sauce, as it is a small and potent chili pepper that adds significant heat. Habanero chili peppers are another popular choice, as they are similar in heat level to bird’s eye chili peppers but have a slightly different flavor profile.

Garlic is another key ingredient in peri peri sauce, adding a pungent and savory flavor to the sauce. Lemon juice adds a tangy and acidic component to the sauce, which helps to balance out the heat from the chili peppers. Salt is used to enhance the flavor of the other ingredients and bring everything together.

How to Make Peri Peri Sauce

Making peri peri sauce at home is easy and requires just a few ingredients. Here is a basic recipe for peri peri sauce:


  • 10-12 bird’s eye chili peppers, stems removed
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil


  1. In a food processor, pulse the chili peppers and garlic until finely chopped.
  2. Add the lemon juice and salt and pulse until well combined.
  3. With the food processor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until the sauce is smooth and well combined.
  4. Transfer the peri peri sauce to a jar or container and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.


  • Adjust the number of chili peppers used to your desired heat level. You can also mix and match different types of chili peppers to create a unique flavor profile.
  • Add a splash of vinegar or tomato paste to the sauce to give it a slightly different flavor and texture.
  • The longer you let the sauce sit in the refrigerator, the more the flavors will meld together.

Peri Peri Chicken Recipe

Peri peri chicken is a popular dish that uses peri peri sauce as a marinade and sauce. Here is a peri peri chicken recipe:


  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup peri peri sauce
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a large bowl, combine the peri peri sauce, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Mix well.
  1. Add the chicken breasts to the bowl and coat them evenly with the peri peri sauce mixture. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (or up to overnight) to marinate.
  2. Preheat a grill or grill pan over medium-high heat. Remove the chicken from the marinade and discard any excess marinade.
  3. Grill the chicken for 6-7 minutes on each side, or until cooked through.
  4. Serve the peri peri chicken with additional peri peri sauce on top, if desired.


  • You can also bake the chicken in the oven at 375°F for 25-30 minutes, or until cooked through, instead of grilling.
  • Peri peri chicken pairs well with rice, grilled vegetables, or a fresh salad.



Peri peri sauce is a flavorful and spicy condiment that adds a unique taste to dishes. Its African and Portuguese roots make it a popular ingredient in many cuisines worldwide. The main ingredients of chili peppers, garlic, lemon juice, and salt give peri peri sauce its distinct flavor, and it’s easy to make at home. Peri peri chicken is a popular dish that uses peri peri sauce as a marinade and sauce, but there are many other ways to use peri peri sauce to add a spicy kick to your meals. Try it and see how peri peri sauce can elevate your cooking.


  1. Is peri peri sauce the same as hot sauce?

No, peri peri sauce is not the same as hot sauce. While both are spicy condiments, peri peri sauce is made with specific ingredients, including chili peppers, garlic, lemon juice, and salt, that give it a unique flavor profile.

  1. Can I use a different type of chili pepper in my peri peri sauce?

Yes, you can use a different type of chili pepper in your peri peri sauce. However, keep in mind that the heat level and flavor of the sauce may be different depending on the type of chili pepper used.

  1. How long can I store peri peri sauce in the refrigerator?

Peri peri sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a month. Make sure to keep it in an airtight container to prevent spoilage.

Tom Clark: Tom, a travel and food blogger, explores the world one dish at a time. His blog is a collection of local cuisines, food culture, and culinary adventures from his travels. His vivid descriptions and beautiful photos make his readers feel like they're dining right alongside him