Piri-Piri Sauce

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes

    3 Cups

Appears in

Sweet Hands: Island Cooking from Trinidad and Tobago

Sweet Hands

By Ramin Ganeshram

Published 2018

  • About

This sauce has its origins in the condiment of the same name from Africa and was no doubt originally brought to Trinidad by enslaved peoples. Piri-piri sauce is generally used on its own as a condiment, but can be added to barbecue sauces or marinades. I find the oil used in the Trinidadian version gives the sauce more ability to stick to the food—which is good if you choose to use it in a marinade. Authentic piri-piri, however, does not make use of oil but uses vinegar.


  • 3 cups canola oil
  • 2 Congo or bird peppers, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon coarse or (kosher) salt
  • 2 bay leaves


  1. Combine all the ingredients in a jar and seal tightly. Refrigerate for 2 weeks, shaking the jar every 2 days or so.
  2. Serve as a condiment with any food. Store refrigerated for up to 2 months.