Thursday, April 28, 2016

Piri-Piri Spice Mix

Piri piri is an African bird's eye chili that has been growing wild in Africa for centuries and is now cultivated commercially in Zambia, Uganda, Malawi, and Zimbabwe. Way back in the 15th century, the Portuguese explorers were introduced to the Bird’s Eye Chili growing under the warm sun in the rich soils of Africa. This was a spice so nice, it had to be named twice. Piri piri is the Swahili word for 'pepper pepper'. These hot and sweet peppers are the inspiration for this spice mix. 
Add a handful of herbs, spices, a squeeze of sun-ripened lemons and a dash of garlic to these peppers to get a spice rub that tantalizes your taste buds and adds a tonne of flavor to a meal. 

How to use peri-peri spice mix:
  1. Make a paste of spice mix with lime juice and olive oil and use it as a rub for chicken, pork or shrimp. 
  2. For a vegetarian option, the spice mix can be used as a marination for tofu, paneer/cottage cheese, veggies like cauliflower, potatoes, mushrooms, capsicum, eggplants to be grilled or roasted. 
  3. Use the spice as is for stir fries and sauteed dishes.   
Ingredients: (makes about 3/4 Cup)
1 T sweet paprika
1 T smoked paprika
2 T Piri Piri pepper (or cayenne)
2 T cumin powder 
2 T coriander powder 
11/2 T garlic powder 
1 1/2 T onion powder
1 t sugar
1 t oregano
1 tsp black pepper
Dash of nutmeg and cinnamon
  1. Lightly toast the cumin and coriander powder in a dry skillet till fragrant.
  2. Mix all the ingredients together. I usually place them in a grinder and give it a quick wiz. 
  3. Store in an air tight container. 
  4. I don't add any salt to my spice mixes. I find it better to season the meat with salt as per taste. If you want you can add salt to the mix. 
  5. Use the spice mix to make Peri-Peri chicken.


  1. Hey looks fab... where doea one buy onion powder from??? And the red schezwan peppers??? Not used???

    1. Thanks. Dehydrated Onion powder is available in any specialty grocery stores specially here in Toronto. I see that u live in Mumbai, not so sure about there. A great substitute for the peri peri peppers is the really hot cayenne pepper (red chili powder) or u can buy the dried red chilies the hot variety and grind them OR you can use Kashmiri mirch/Deghi mirch. Hope this helps.