Aji Rojo Molido y Frito
Aji rojo and aji amarillo sauce are used a lot in Bolivian recipes.I love making a large batch of this sauce and freeze it for when I need it to use. The process is very simple you just need to get the “vainas de aji rojo”, look at any latino bodega for them. They are called Aji Panca in Peru. Use gloves when you are preparing,otherwise you might have spicy hands for a week. If you like really spicy food you can leave the seeds but I usually don’t. Also You can just freeze the sauce without cooking it. Just peel the peppers with hot water and using the blender make the paste and put it in a container and freeze it.
Serves 3 cups.
38 dried red chillies or ajis (Capsicum baccatum) (about 1/2 lb)
1 cup water
2 garlic clove peeled.
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Cut the top with the stems out. You will see the seed inside.
Put the peppers in a large pot and cover them with water.
Cook them for half and hour or until the skin starts separating from the pepper.
Drained the hot water and move the pepper into cold water. Let it chill.
Using gloves, peel the skin and remove the seeds out.
Press the 2 garlics with a garlic press.
Put in a blender the peeled seedles pepper and the water, cumin, garlic, sugar and salt.
Blend until you have a smooth paste.
Heat the oil and add the paste to it. Cook for about 10 min or until the sauce gets tick enough that starts separating from the pan. You need to stir constantly.
To preserve the sauce freeze in in ice cube tray or mason jar. It freeze well up to 2 years.
Llajwa de Mani (Bolivian peanut sauce)
I love llajwas in Bolivia and this peanut sauce is one of my favorites, it goes really well with potatoes, yuca and anticuchos (grilled cow heart-meat on skewers). I tried two different recipes and I love both of them; one has fresh cheese and the other one doesn’t. The first recipe I made was for dish call papas a la huancaina. The second recipe without the cheese we tried on pasta with fresh tomatoes and came out delicious!
4 dry spicy yellow peppers
2 garlic cloves
1 cup raw peanuts (you can substitute for unsalted roasted peanuts)
2 cups water (1/2 cup more if you want it less thick)
1 tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
Optional ( 1/2 cup grated queso fresco or monterrey jack)
Preheat the oven to 350F. Select 4 large yellow peppers. Bake them in the oven for 5 min, the pepper will start burning in some areas and the pepper will turn a dark red color. Don’t over roast.
Let the pepper cool. Meanwhile, put the peanuts on a baking sheet and roast the peanuts at 350F for 7 min. Remove from the oven, the peanuts will continue cooking after they are out of the oven so you don’t want to keep them inside the oven too long.
(The above photo with two piles shows the unroasted and roasted peanuts). Take the seeds out of the yellow peppers and put them in a food processor or blender, add the peanuts, garlic, salt and water. You are looking for a smooth sauce.
Heat the oil in a pan and add the peanut sauce. Cook for 15 min, if is too thick add more warm water or milk. Add the cheese after you take the sauce out of the stove.
Serve warm with potatoes or pasta or any barbecue chicken or meat.
Llajwa is a spicy sauce that we have on every table in Bolivia at lunch or dinner time. It goes very well with almost everything! In Bolivia, instead of Jalapeño, we use a pepper call LOCOTO that has beautiful black seeds inside and instead of cilantro we use Quillquiña a plant that is similar to cilantro. But after trying different combinations, this is the closest to an authentic Bolivian Llajwa I can make in the US so far. In Bolivian, my family uses a traditional Quechua batan, a large flat stone mortar and pestle to grind the llajwa ingredients. Our batan came from my grandmother to my mother and one day it will belong to my sister and I. Llajwa is easy to make and you’ll get addicted to it in no time- ask my husband!
Cooking time 10 min
2 large green Jalapeño peppers cut it in half
1 large red tomato cut it 2 pieces
A handful of cilantro leaves (or it really should be Quillquiña leaves if you have them)
1 tablespoon vidalia onion chopped in small pieces (optional)
Depending how spicy you want it, you can take the seeds out of the Jalapeño. I like it spicy so I leave the seeds in.
If you are using a food processor or blender take the tomatoes seeds and reserve them to add later.
After you have the ingredients ready, put them in a food processor or a blender and chop them until they are small pieces.
Add the tomatoes seeds and salt at the end. If you want you can add the vidalia onion on top. My mom only adds the onion if the Llajwa is going to be eaten the same day.
In my last trip to Bolivia my mom made me a llawja in a batan.