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Mozambican Peri-Peri Sauce for Shrimps and Prawns

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“Oh dear, this can be addictive, depending on your personal tastes!! The real thing can only be made with African Birds' Eye Chilis, but there is not that much difference between a good red hot pepper and an African Birds' Eye Chili! I made up this recipe yesterday (cut from our local FEMINA magazine of April 09). I added a few extra hints here. By the way, shrimps and prawns are the same thing, except we call tiny shrimps, "shrimps" (LOL!) and the larger shrimps which range in size to Jumbo or King Prawns, "prawns"!! LOL! Also, this is not a dish for icky-picky eaters. The prawns are cleaned as usual, but NOT peeled. You can order your heaped plate of LM Prawns with Peri-Peri Sauce in Mozambique, especially in the capital, Maputo ... (use your atlas, Patricia!). This sauce is ideally used with large shrimps caught in the open sea -- not the sickly, tastless "farmed" shrimps. It is served heaped on a plate, with rice. You can peel it yourself, but the heads can safely be crunched ... Usually, if ordered, they ask you whether you want "hot", "medium", "mild", or with lemon butter. The lemon butter is for nerds, naturally, LOL!! You can use the entire recipe to throw in the pan and fry the prawns in, or as I do, skim off oil from the sauce mixture and fry the prawns in that, and then serve the rest of the sauce as a dipping sauce. Damp cloths and bowls for peels needed ... ! (LM Prawns in this case refers back to the time when the Portuguese ruled Mozambique, and Maputo was called Lourenço Marques).”
3/4 cup

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 2 -4 tablespoons hot peppers, crushed, dried (chop up fresh peppers, as much as you like, if you have them)
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, pungent, finely chopped
  • 12 cup oil
  • 1 12 fluid ounces lemon juice, fresh (1/8th cup, can use up to 1/4 cup)
  • 2 teaspoons salt, flaky (or 1 teaspoon kitchen salt)


  1. First method: simply whisk all ingredients together, and leave to infuse.
  2. Second method: put in a blender, and process until smooth.
  3. This is enough for one dip bowl, or you can use it in a pan, and then fry a huge amount of large shrimps in it, stirring, just until they turn pinkish and curl up. (I mean: cleaned but unpeeled prawns).
  4. If you are worried about the heat of the sauce, simply fry your shrimps, and serve the peri-peri-sauce on the side.
  5. This sauce wll also keep for months in the fridge.

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