Long before there was Nandos peri-peri flame grilled chicken there was my mother’s Peri-Peri Garlic prawns in a fiery Peri-Peri Garlic marinade. Strangely enough we never used the peri-peri sauces for anything other than the prawns my mum made at Eid or special occasions.
My mum used store bought marinades perked up with fresh garlic and fresh lemon juice for her prawns. When I first moved to Dubai many years ago the brands she used were not available, but I found a very good alternative in a South African brand peri-peri coat and cook sauce.
When I couldn’t find the peri-peri garlic marinade at the store I decided that I needed to make my own so that wherever I am in the world I can have peri-peri garlic prawns and not be dependent on a sachet from the store. I subsequently found the store bought version and after reading the ingredient list and all of the E codes, stabilisers and flavorings in there, my stomach literally turned over.
I have realized over the years that many of the store bought spice mixes and marinades that we use have too many additives that are probably not doing anyone with an inflammatory response any favors. I have even made my own small batch Home made Fish Masala Spice Blend to ensure I have a consistent flavor for fish masala without all the additives and unlisted ingredients.
The best thing about a homemade Peri-Peri Garlic marinade is that it has so much flavor and you know exactly what you have put into it. You can also moderate the spiciness and heat level from mild to moderate to high, depending on personal preference. I prefer fiery but usually tend to have a lighter touch with the chilis when making this for guests who have a lower tolerance for spicy foods.
A word of warning: This Fiery Peri-Peri Garlic marinade is so delicious you may end up slathering it on fresh bread or using it as a condiment or dip with crackers, cured meats and cheese.
How to make your own homemade fiery peri-peri garlic marinade
Below is my home made gluten free Fiery Peri-Peri Garlic marinade that can be used as a basting sauce or marinade for any seafood, chicken or meat dishes. African Birds eye chillies may not be widely available so you may use other types of red chillies but check the spiciness levels. If you do have fresh African Birds eye chillies then start with 6 chillies and add more if required.
Fiery Peri-Peri Garlic Marinade
This gluten free Fiery Peri-Peri Garlic marinade is a flavorsome seasoning that infuses your choice of protein with the essence of zesty lemon, hot chili and cayenne.
- 125 ml olive oil
- 450 grams red onion, peeled and chopped approximately 2 large onions
- 300 grams red bell peppers, deseeded chopped approximately 2 large peppers
- 8 cloves garlic, sliced
- 6 red birds eye chillies, sliced adjust for personal taste
- 5 ml cayenne pepper powder
- 60 grams tomato paste approximately 3 tablespoons
- 375 ml hot water
- 2 lemons juice and peel without pith
- 30 ml granulated sugar approximately 2 tablespoons
- 30 ml white grape vinegar approximately 2 tablespoons
- 10 ml salt approximately 2 teaspoons
Heat the oil in a medium size pot and add the chopped red onions, red bell pepper, sliced garlic, chilis and lemon peel and saute on medium for 15 -20 minutes until the onions are translucent.
Mix the tomato paste with 375 ml hot water.
Add the cayenne pepper powder, tomato paste mix, lemon juice and rind, sugar, vinegar and salt and simmer for another 20 minutes.
Check and adjust the seasoning and remove from the heat.
Blend the ingredients in a blender or use a stick blender to get the correct consistency without any lumps of vegetables.
Decant into a sterilized jar and allow to cool before use or refrigerating.
Use within 1 week.
- Other red chillies may be used if African birds eye chillies are not available.
- Substitute 25 ml honey for the granulated sugar to make it refined sugar free.
- This recipe makes 1 liter Fiery Peri-Peri Garlic marinade, enough for 2 - 2.5 kg of prawns, chicken or meat.
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