My favorite chilli is aji amarillo, long and thin peppers, about 3-5 inches in length. Don’t be fooled by the name – amarillo means yellow in Spanish – because ripe aji amarillo are bright orange and unripe ones are yellow. The seeds inside will make a dish very spicy so just remove them to lower the heat level. The aroma and its fruity, somewhat sweet flavor add to the spiciness, making it unique from other hot peppers.
Aji Amarillo is consider the most important ingredient in Peruvian cooking by the famous Peruvian chef Gaston Acurio.
Here at Sabor we use aji amarillo in dishes such Papa a la Huancaina, potatoes with a yellow creamy sauce; Causa, a cold potato dish colored and flavored with yellow aji; and as a garnish on Escabeche, pickled fish. Another common use is as a side dipping sauce that can accompany any meal.
In addition to flavor, aji amarillo has health benefits as well due to its high levels of capsaicin, a natural ingredient in hot peppers located in the pepper’s ribs, which is good for pain relief, as a digestion aid, and in fighting inflammation.
In the UK the supply of this Aji is very irregular, so when we get it, we buy a good quantity and make a paste that we can use later in various recipesj, and we would advise anyone to do the same.