Peruvian Chile Sauce to Blow Your Head Off

Chile, Aji puca-uchu (Capsicum baccatum var pendulum) (2) Ají amarillo, also called ají mirasol, is the “yellow chile” of Peru, their most common chile (Capsicum baccatum var. pendulum) that can grow to about five-inches long and is of a medium-hot pungency. There are two main types, the kellu-uchu (ají amarillo cusqueño) and the puca-uchu (uchu is the Quecha word for chile in Peru).

These are not chiles you’ll find in your supermarket, but should you happen upon a South American market you’ll find them sold frozen, at the very least. Although a Quecha Indian might call these mildy-hot I find them extremely hot chiles. Once when experimenting to see if they would be appropriate for use as a firecracker, usually made with cheese stuffed in jalapeño chiles and baked, I started hiccuping violently and uncontrollably after popping one in my mouth. I knew from experience that the only relief was some heavy cream or yogurt. I drank about a ¼ cup of heavy cream and that helped. The pungency dissipated in about 10 minutes.

So that wasn’t a good idea. I thought why not just make the Peruvian chile paste known as ají panca en pasta which is usually made with dried chiles. I had bought a two pound frozen bay of the puca-uchu chiles and laid them out to defrost and dry for 2 days then I placed them in a blender with some peanut oil, some white wine vinegar, salt, and a teaspoon of ground cumin and blended it for 2 full minutes before scraping ti out for storage. It’s terrific and powerful stuff that I usually use with unseasoned food. 2015-02-10 14.03.18

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