Yields 2 cups/473 mL
- 3 oz/85 g ají panca
- ¼ cup/59 mL vegetable oil
- ½ cup/118 mL water, or as needed
- 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.
- On a griddle or comal, toast the dried ajíes until toasted and fragrant, about 3 minutes.
- Reconstitute the ajíes in hot water until soft, about 20 minutes. Discard water.
- Transfer the ajíes to a blender and process with the oil and water.
- Pass the ají mixture through a fine mesh sieve.
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.