The genus Capsicum (hot chili) originated in Peru in an area that includes the Lake Titicaca basin and what is now Bolivia. From this area, thanks to the flow of rivers and migratory birds, chili began a journey around 10,000 years ago that would take them to the rest of South and Central America, and eventually the whole world.
Chilies were used as an offering to the the gods in religious ceremonies and was considered by the men of ancient Peru as a sacred symbol. The Paquos Shamans of the Andes, use it to this day in rituals and to perfume people who have been possessed. Moreover, the ancient Incan ritual of fasting before paying tribute to the Pachamama, included abstaining from the pleasures of eating chili and salt, and, for some reason, sexual intercourse. This green sauce including chilies is a Peruvian classic that can make any meal sparkle. It’s best on roasted meat, but goes well with pretty much anything.
Aji Verde Salsa – Peruvian Green Sauce
- Food Processor or blender
- 2 tsp White vinegar
- 1 tbsp Lime juice
- 2 tbsp Aji Amarillo paste (optional but worth it)
- 2 cloves Garlic, peeled
- 2 tbsp White onion, chopped
- 2 medium Jalapeno peppers, stems removed (1 more if Aji Amarillo paste is not used)
- ⅛ cup Grated parmesan cheese
- 1 cup Fresh cilantro
- ½ cup Mayonnaise
- 10 Fresh mint leaves
- ¼ cup Sour Cream
- 2 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ tsp Kosher salt
- Trim bottoms of cilantro and separate mint leaves. Put everything, except oil, into the bowl of a food processor or blender. Process until smooth. With motor running, slowly pour stream of olive oil in and mix until emulsified. Refrigerate until ready to use. Adjust for salt.
- Sauce will thicken nicely in refrigerator.