peri peri sauce recipe, how to make peri peri or piri piri sauce

by dassana amit updated October 29, 2013

peri peri sauce, portuguese peri peri sauce

here comes a hot and fiery sauce from the portuguese cuisine - peri peri or piri piri sauce. its made from piri piri, a type of bird’s eye chili from africa.

legend has it that from africa the piri piri chilies went to portugal via the portuguese invaders. the piri piri chilies found their way into a sauce developed by the portuguese and has now become a staple in portugal. i do not know the real story…. who developed the sauce and who did not? all i know is that the sauce is REALLY AWESOME.

the peri peri sauce is so yum and spicy that we have it with everything like vegetables, rice, salads, bread. it brings some zest and spice to the dish, especially if the dish is bland and not spicy. simply love it.


my sis informed me of the peri peri sauce and i couldn’t resist making this recipe. when i heard the name peri peri, i had something of a deja vu… felt as if i have heard this name some where, some time…

i googled for peri peri and came across nando’s peri peri sauce. now the deja vu even became more strong. hmmmm…. where i have heard or seen the words “nando’s peri peri”…..  just couldn’t figure it out.

finally, again googled and found out that nandos have one of their restaurants in bangalore, india. within a flash…. i then remembered seeing their banner and restaurant in bangalore…. so this explains the deja vu :-)

anyways, coming back to the peri peri sauce now…. usually the sauce is used as a marination for meat or sea food that is going to be roasted or grilled or fried. but like i mentioned before, but we have the peri peri sauce with our everyday vegetarian food. it is so good…

one recipe i made with the peri peri sauce was peri peri potatoes much like peri peri chicken and it was yum!!!… a pic below of the peri peri potato fries.


for the peri peri sauce, you could use even the indian red chilies… i used kashmiri red chillies and they were hot enough for all of us. the rest of the ingredients are always easily available in the kitchen pantry.

a blend of different red chilies can also be used depending on their hotness. for dry chilies you can soak them in water for 2-3 hours before blending them.

instead of lemon juice one can also use vinegar/cider vinegar or half-half quantities of lemon juice and vinegar, each. i did not add vinegar to the sauce. i only used lemon juice.

the amount of olive oil can be increased if you want a thin sauce. the more the sauce ages, the better it becomes.

for vegetarians, the sauce could be used as a marination for tofu, paneer/cottage cheese, veggies like cauliflower, potatoes, mushrooms, capsicum, aubergines and then grilled, roasted, sauted or fried. even while making a simple fried rice, 1 or 2 tsp of the peri peri sauce will make the rice spicy and yum. the sauce is a must for people who like spicy and hot food.

peri peri sauce recipe details below:

5.0 from 1 reviews

peri peri sauce
Prep time
Total time
Cuisine: world
Serves: 1 small bottle
  • 11-12 red chilies
  • 7-8 garlic flakes
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes or red chili powder (optional and if you want a more hotter sauce)
  • ¾ cup chopped cilantro/coriander leaves or parsley ( a combination of both greens can also be used)
  • juice of 1 medium sized lemon
  • ½ cup olive oil or vegetable oil
  • sea salt or salt
  1. remove the stems from the red chilies.
  2. rinse them in water.
  3. peel and chop the garlic
  4. add all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend to a smooth paste.
  5. store the peri peri sauce in a container in the refrigerator.

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Prabhat April 2, 2014 1

Hi Dassana,
I tried making peri peri sauce with fresh red chillies. Taste was good but after grinding all the ingredients, the colour changed to light brown instead of red. Somewhat like peanut butter.
Please advise.


dassana amit April 2, 2014 2

thats due to the green color coming from coriander or parsley. this is the only ingredient that will change the red color more so since fresh chilies were used. next time you can reduce the amount of coriander and if possible add kashmiri red chilies. they will give a nice red color. but i think the color is fine as even i have seen ready piri piri sauces in the peanut butter color and even orangish.


Prabhat April 1, 2014 3

Hi Dassana,

I have been following your site very closely and tried few of your recipes. They are awesome.
I have learnt that originally italian pasta are made in pasta sauce.
Please post a good recipe for pasta sauce.



dassana amit April 3, 2014 4

thanks. actually pasta can be made in various sauces. i usually make pasta with a fresh tomato basil sauce, pesto or white sauce. i will add a pasta sauce recipe. i have the pasta sauces request by a few more readers too.


Prabhat April 1, 2014 5

One small query. The red chillies for Peri Peri sauce has to be fresh ones or the dried red chillies?


dassana amit April 1, 2014 6

you can use any. i had made with dry red chilies. but you can use any. fresh peri peri chilies will give a different flavor.


chef rahul January 10, 2014 7

realy its easy and taste is good i am using it


dassana amit January 10, 2014 8

thanks rahul


rajinder September 7, 2013 9

Hi, I tried this recipe today and came out very nice, going to try it with chicken!


dassana September 7, 2013 10

thanks rajinder for the positive feedback


Manjula July 3, 2013 11

I Didnt know nandos is in India too. I saw this restaurant in Malaysia. peri peri is spicy word in African. can you please post some more pasta dishes. may be in more Indian way. thanks.


dassana July 3, 2013 12

yes, manjula. i will post some pasta recipes in future.


Radhika September 27, 2012 13

Hi there,

My husband loves hot and spicy stuff. will sure make for him. DO you know the shelflife of this sauce?



dassana September 27, 2012 14

the sauce stays good for a max of 15 days in the refrigerator.


Maria September 20, 2011 15

Yummy peri peri looks loved them……