What curries are to foods of Asian origin, piripiri is to the cuisine of Mozambique. Originally the name of a small, red capsicum pepper, piripiri today can refer to any of the various hot, spicy dishes made with the fresh pepper itself or with the dried, ground powder it produces.

Recipes in the seafood and chicken chapters of this book call for piripiri both as a marinade and as a sauce, but these mixturescan be used succesfully with almost any kind of meat. Shrimp, prawns and chicken are the favorite choices in Mozambique, and charcoal grilling is the preferred method of cooking. This recipe is enough for 3 - 4 lbs of chicken or fish. When making large quantities, a food processor or blender is convenient; for small amounts, a mortar and pestle is both fast and easy to clean.


4 red peppers, crushed or 2 heaping tsp cayenne pepper

ľ tsp salt

juice of 2 medium-size lemons

2 cloves garlic, crushed

6 sprigs parsley, chopped

1 cup butter or oil


For a marinade, combine all the ingredients except butter in a bowl with meat or seafood. Stir to coat each piece well. If you’ll be cooking within a couple of hours, let the mixture sit at room temperature; otherwise, cover and refrigerate. Marinating overnight allows all the flavors to blend nicely.

To make a sauce for basting, combine everything, including the butter. If you have made a marinade, you can use the liquid left in the bowl after the pieces of meat are removed, but it may be necessary to add a bit more of each ingrediŽnt in roughly the same proportions as before.

To make a table sauce for the cooked meat, prepare a fresh mixture of all the ingredients and heat it gently for five minutes before serving. As a variation for basting chicken, substitute 1 cup of Coconut milk for the lemon juice.


country : Mozambique

course : sauce


source : The Africa News Cookbook : African Cooking for Western Kitchens / edited by Tami Hultman