For the final day of South American cuisine, I have a delicious flavourful sauce from Columbia. I came across this dish when I was searching for Columbia recipes. But looks like every country in South America has its own version of peanut sauce. Aji means chilly pepper in Spanish and mani is the peanut. The sauce can be made in various ways either with roasted peanuts or with peanut butter, either cooked or all ingredients mixed with peanut paste without cooking, with chilly or without chilly and so on. I read so many recipes and finally I got confused on what to make. Then I took the general idea and came up with my own version. For colouring the sauce, achiote is used. It gives the dish an orangish hue and the best substitute would be turmeric. I also used red chilly powder instead of chopped chilly.
I didn’t make this recipe until the last day. Usually the sauce is served along empanadas or tamales, but you can also serve it with vegetables or meat as a dip. When I bookmarked the recipe, I had no idea about how I was going to serve it, but yesterday, I ate it along with roasted chicken and it was so good. We do use peanuts in chutneys, but this version is quite different. The addition of onions and coriander gives the sauce an unique flavour and either you would love it or you would hate it. I liked it so much. Tomorrow I am going to eat it with roti and rice. And this is definitely not for Sruti. I know her and she is not this adventurous.
Roasted Peanuts – 1/4 cup
Milk – 1/4 cup
Oil – 1 tbs
Onion – 3-4 tbs, finely chopped
Red Chilly Powder – 1/3 tsp
Turmeric Powder – 1/4 tsp
Salt – to taste
Garlic – 1 clove
Coriander Leaves – 2-3 tbs, finely chopped
Peel and remove the skin of roasted peanuts and grind it to a smooth paste adding milk.
In a pan heat oil and add chopped onions and garlic.
Saute for a minute or two until it changes colour.
Add in the ground peanut, 1/4 cup of water, red chilly, turmeric and salt.
Bring it to boil.
Cover and cook on low flame until the sauce thickens.
Add chopped coriander leaves and remove from flame.
Serve it as a side dish with meat or vegetables.