Pasta de aji panca is a paste made from the Peruvian aji panca pepper.
It is used in many traditional Peruvian dishes providing a sweet yet smokey taste.
This chili paste from Peru can be used as a base for steak marinade or steak sauces. Or enjoyed with your favorite style of eggs.
Here's a simple aji panca paste recipe.
- 1 oz Dried Aji Panca Chiles
- 1/2 oz Pepitas (Pumpkin Seeds)
- 1 Clove Garlic, Thinly Sliced
- 2 tsp Vegetable Oil
- 1 TBSP Onion, Minced
- Juice from 1/2 Lime
- Boiling Water
Stem and devein the ajies (keep some veins if you want a very spicy paste).
Chop the dried chiles and put into a small bowl.
Blanche the peppers by bringing about 1 cup of water to a boil. Pour some of the boiling water into the bowl with the chiles, just enough to completely cover them. Let the chiles rehydrate for about 15 minutes. This step can be repeated by changing the water, as spiciness reduces with each blanching.
Put the pumpkin seeds and garlic in a dry skillet over a medium low heat to lightly toast. Once toasted, add to the rehydrating chiles.
In the skillet that you toasted the pumpkins seeds, heat the oil over medium low heat. Add the finely chopped onion and cook until it is translucent.
Put the salt, cooked onion with oil, lime juice, chili peppers, pumpkin seeds and soaking water to a blender.
Blend the ingredients until you have a puree. If it is thicker than you want, add 1 TBSP of hot water and blend. Continue adding 1 TBSP of water at a time until you get the desired thickness.