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Piri Piri (Peri Peri). African seasoning with Portuguese Roots

Piri Piri (Peri Peri). African seasoning with Portuguese Roots


African hot chili ‘bird’s eye’, spicy African sauce and African seasoning – they all have the same name ‘piri piri’.

The recipe of piri piri – a wonderful African mixture with Portuguese roots, deserves a separate post – it is so good and important for my collection of spices, as well. The seasoning I made turned out incredibly tasty and aromatic. It is excellent on beef, pork, potatoes, corn, fish, and chicken.

You can further adjust the ingredients to your liking by adding more bird’s eye or cayenne pepper to make the seasoning hotter; or enhance its smoky flavor by increasing the quantity of smoked paprika.

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Piri Piri (Peri Peri). African seasoning with Portuguese Roots



  • 2-4 tbsp lemon peel
  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tbsp granulated garlic or garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • ½ tbsp piri piri pepper or cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp ground bay leaf
  • 1 tsp dried tarragon (optional)


  • add 1-2 tbsp  turbinado or brown sugar (for meat or poultry seasoning)



Mix all the ingredients. Store the seasoning in an air-tight container.

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Cook with pleasure and enjoy the world!

1 thought on “Piri Piri (Peri Peri). African seasoning with Portuguese Roots”

  • You are incorrect. Piri piri(peri peri, peli peli) the word is African meaning “pepper pepper” or “Hot pepper” or African bird’s eye chili, all dependent on which part of Africa is making the reference. This is an African meal created originally from Africa centuries before Portugal knew of its existence( introduced to Portugal by the black Moors…research it.) What Portugal did do is popularize it globally and claimed it as their own exclusively (even though the name Piri piri is an African name with Swahili origins.) Piri piri cooking “originates” from Angola and Mozambique. When Portugal was introduced to this meal they felt the peppering was too hot for their palate so they augmented the recipe slightly with a milder chile, however the name, the recipe, and the origins remain the same and to say otherwise would be fiction and an outright insult to Africa as a continent, again…

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