African Devil (Peri-Peri Chilli)

Dynamite in a small package

When it comes to packing dynamite into a small container, this Chilli is certainly a contender for the title. Only about an inch in length, this little red fellow packs a mean punch. It together with its cousin in Brazil , the Malaquetinha. are firm favourites in their home countries.

Image- Red Peri-Peri Chillies
Peri-Peri Chillies

The African Devil (Piri- Piri) or Peri-Peri Chilli (as it is more commonly known in Africa) – from the  Capsicum Frutescens species  has its origin in South America. It was brought to Africa by the Portuguese, who were successful traders and had colonies in Mozambique and Angola.   It easily adapted to local conditions and became prolific in the wild, developing its own African character and special heat properties.

Today, Peri-Peri chillies can be found in many African countries, including Mozambique (where they are called Piri- Piri), South Africa, Malawi, Zambia and  Zimbabwe ( where it is also grown commercially).

Very popular in Portuguese and African cooking, this Chilli is used to make awesome dishes like Piri-Piri chicken and prawns.  The Portuguese, in particular, are experts in making Peri-Peri sauce and oil from African devils Chilli. It is also dried and ground to make fantastic Chilli powders and Chilli flakes

It has a  Scoville rating of between 150000 and 175000 SHU. Don’t let that scare you off, though; it is also loaded with flavour. On the one hand, you’ll know that you’ve been wacked by the heat, but on the other, you’ll absolutely adore the taste—certainly a gem of flavour, colour, and piquancy that should be part of your Chilli collection.

Definitely one of my favourites!

Image credit

Alan Levine  / CC BY 2.0 / via Flickr

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Link to Peri- peri chicken recipe page


Portuguese Peri Peri chicken