Saturday, March 26, 2011

Aji Panca (Purple Chili Pepper)

Aji panca is a purple chili pepper used as a spice in many Peruvian dishes. It’s prepared into a paste/sauce which is added to many different dishes, including beef stew, gizzo de pollo, spaghetti, papa rellena, lomo saltado.
You’ll find this in the ingredients list for several of the recipes I’ll be posting on this blog.
It can be stored for up to a month depending on how it’s prepared. My grandma does not add salt or oil to it, but I feel safer/better adding both, just for the preservative properties. You can also freeze it for later use.

Although it’s not easily found in U.S. grocery stores, it can be ordered at Amazon.  You can purchase it in a variety of ways: dried, powdered and paste forms. I was very surprised to see that it’s not too expensive.

You can also find it on ebay in several different forms.

If you buy the dried form, it can easily be turned into paste. I will update this post in the future with instructions on how to do that.

Next year I plan to try growing aji panca from seed in my back yard.

Above left photo from


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