This Cameroonian pepper sauce lays off the habanero peppers
Pepper sauce can easily be associated with hot sauce - without the vinegary taste. My first time tasting this sauce was at a friend's place for a party. She is from Cameroon and has introduced me to so many dishes from the country - my favorite is this Cameroonian pepper sauce and koki. Since moving to NYC I've been so fortunate to meet people from all over the world.
Last week I shared with you a Nigerian obe ata recipe. The recipe consists of blending and frying sweet bell pepper. This sauce switches it up - I opted for no oil for a healthier option. I also used yellow and orange bell peppers instead of red.
Pepper Sauce Around West African
To my surprise, pepper or genus capsicum is not indigenous to Africa. It is original to the Americas. The pepper made its way to West African around the 15th century during the era of the Columbus Trade Exchange. Pepper seemed to fit perfectly well amongst West Africans. A form of pepper sauce can be found all around West Africa.
In Senegal, you will find a courser ground habanero pepper sauce called Kani. In Liberia and parts of Sierra Leone, it is called hot pepper and is usually eaten with dry rice, attieke, and even kala (sweet fried dough) for a savory flavor. In Ghana, they add shrimp powder to their sauce and call it Shito - there are tons of vegan shito recipes out there to try.
What all these sauces have in common is the use of the chilli pepper. In fact chilli is the star of the dish. In Cameroon, djansang seeds are added to elevate the flavors of the dish. I, unfortunately, did not have any on hand
I like pepper, but my Americanized tongue can only handle so much now. Instead of primarily using chili or habaneros to get my sauce to be plentiful and spicy - I toned it down by using yellow and orange sweet bell peppers. Some people like to use tomatoes in their recipes - I do not.
I grew up understanding that tomatoes tend to go bad quicker. For my Nigerian dishes like efo riro - I do not use tomato because of this. I have opted out of using it.
You can also add ginger for more flavor.
Lastly, I nixed the oil. Frying the peppers can leave a lingering smell in the apartment. Also, the lack of oil makes this hot sauce much healthier.
Storing and Uses
You can keep this sauce in the fridge for up to a month while you top your grains of rice, beyond meat sausages, veggies, plantains and more.
- 1 medium orange or yellow sweet bell pepper
- ½ medium onion
- 1 orange or yellow habenero pepper, add more for spice
- 2 clove of garlic
- 1 cup of water
- 1 tsp of vegetable bouillon
- ½ tsp of salt
- Blend your pepper, onion, garlic, and water in a blender or processor
- Pour into a medium saucepan over medium-high heat
- Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer
- Add your salt and boullion, adjust to taste
- Simmer for 30 minutes, stir every 5 minutes
Serve with rice, plantains, soups, burgers or salads
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 12