Pasta de Ají Panca—Peruvian Ají Panca Paste

Yields 2 cups/473 mL

Ingredients

  • 3 oz/85 g ají panca
  • ¼ cup/59 mL vegetable oil
  • ½ cup/118 mL water, or as needed

Directions

  1. Using gloves, cut the stem from the dried ajíes and wipe with a cloth to remove dirt. Split open to remove the seeds and veins. Wash the ajíes in cold water.
  2. On a griddle or comal, toast the dried ajíes until toasted and fragrant, about 3 minutes.
  3. Reconstitute the ajíes in hot water until soft, about 20 minutes. Discard water.
  4. Transfer the ajíes to a blender and process with the oil and water.
  5. Pass the ají mixture through a fine mesh sieve.

Chef’s Note

Both ají panca and mirasol are sold in 1 1/2 oz/43 g bags at specialty Latin stores. The paste will keep for two weeks, refrigerated in a sealed container.

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