I’ve recently been researching Peruvian recipes to try out at home. This includes some of the greats: Causa Rellena, Aji de Gallina and Ceviche. I got myself all excited and can’t wait to start.
But I have noticed that there is one predominant Peruvian ingredient in almost every recipe, which is very hard to find…
Translated as “yellow pepper”, but not at all the sort that us Brits are familiar with, aji amarillo is a cross between a chilli and a pepper, with a hot, fruity taste. It’s native to South America, but mainly found in Peru, and is a key ingredient in many Peruvian dishes.
Now, from the Peruvian food that I experienced, not a lot of it was hot, but a lot of it would have included these amarillo babies. They are used so discreetly, to give sauces and potatoes a little kick, and whilst the yellow chilli peppers turn orange with age, they give food a gorgeous yellow colour.
Being far away from the home of the peppers, the best I can hope for is aji amarillo paste or powder (used a lot in the US).
BUT WHERE DO I GET IT FROM?! I know I can substitute them with something else, for sure, but I’m giving myself a challenge: to hunt down and buy aji amarillo paste!
If anyone finds them, please let me know, but I’m going to be hunting these babies down…