I never realized how incomplete my life was without this condiment until I moved away from home and did not have easy access to it any longer. Growing up, this pepper sauce was a staple in my home, much like in every West Indian home. I consider this sauce to be the "Tabasco" of the Caribbean islands (and Guyana) because it is a condiment that is added to almost any type of savory food for flavor as well as for spiciness.
The type of peppers that is used to make this pepper sauce is usually wiri wiri pepper (also known as cherry pepper) or scotch bonnets. They are both very hot peppers and when made into a pepper sauce, it is seasoned to bring out the tastiness. Many people simply like to make their pepper sauce by just blending the peppers with a little vinegar. Different countries in the West Indies might have slight variations of this recipe. But in the end, the result is similar. A spicy, flavorful condiment that your meal can't be without!
I had no idea the amount of work that goes into making this pepper sauce until I went to Guyana in 2009 on a family vacation. My grandfather is the anointed pepper sauce making guru. So one hot day during my time there, I sat in a hammock and attentively watched as he made pepper sauce to be bottled for us to bring back to New York and Florida. The aroma filled the entire "bottom" house and made us cough as if we all had bronchitis. But somehow, he was able to withstand the smell and continued to grind the peppers.
He used a food mill like this one to grind the peppers for the sauce. It was all done manually, all 10 pounds of pepper! I used only 2 pounds of wiri wiri pepper. So as you can imagine, this was definitely a huge feat for him! Now back in New York and unable to find anything close to my grandfather's pepper sauce, I made a phone call to Guyana to get the recipe.
Pepper sauce is not just about being spicy, it's also about the texture and the flavor. I don't particularly care for watery pepper sauce, I like it smooth and thick with lots of flavors. I used the blender to make my sauce, it was much easier since I do not own a grinding mill. The texture was exactly the same and so was the taste. Another family recipe has been made, tasted, and documented! This recipe comes to you all the way from Grandpa Roland in Guyana...enjoy!
It is not pictured here, but for 2lbs of pepper, you will need ½ cup of white blend still distilled vinegar. Add a little bit of vinegar at a blend till
West Indian Pepper Sauce
West Indian Pepper Sauce
- 2lbs wiri wiri pepper or scotch bonnet peppers (stems removed)
- 1 green mango (unripe mango) or 2 large cucumbers, peeled and diced
- 1 head of garlic, peeled
- 2 tsp salt
- ½ cup white distilled vinegar
- Rinse peppers and remove all stems
- Add about 1 cup of peppers to a blender with a little mango or cucumber, a little bit of vinegar and garlic, blend until smooth.
- Repeat process until all ingredients are used up and sauce is smooth and not watery (it should have a tomato/pasta sauce texture).
- Store sauce in a mason jar.
Those are some beautiful peppers, where did u find those?? The peppers on Liberty Ave are bruised and rotten, here in Atlanta I can't find any.
Ms. Gourmet Express
I brought those peppers back from Florida when I went to visit over the holidays. I just put them in the freezer so they wouldn't rotten out. And yes, I agree, the peppers on Liberty Ave are dingy and rotten looking and they still sell it for upwards of $11.99/lb craziness!!
What about scotch bonnets? Do you have access to those?
Hey! I made this today! Instead I used a piece of cucumber! It's really hot! Thanks a bunch!
A relative of mine from guyana gave me some of these peppers and boy the texture and taste of the sauce is amazing.
What a great sauce! My friend is Guyanese and his mom makes this sauce. Where I live its impossible to find wiri peppers so I used Habanero peppers and Italian hot cherry peppers(for the red color.) The result is very similar to what my friends mom makes. THANKS!
Hi, I'm literally all ready to make this sauce but wondered which kind of vinegar (Malt, white etc.) to use? Please help!
It's white distilled vinegar 🙂
I promise to sign up when I have time, last question...is it 2 tsp salt like it says in the picture or 3 like it says in the recipe?
Hey no problem, sign up when you can 🙂 Also thanks for catching that error! It's 2 tsp of salt. I've made the correction in the recipe! Thanks so much!
Do we store this in the fridge? how long does it last? Any tips for long term storage?
Thank you - this looks amaaaazing.....we have a lot of cherry peppers in our garden and were wondering what to do, so cannot thank you enough:)
You are very welcome! Since this pepper sauce has vinegar in it, it will keep until you finish the bottle of pepper sauce! The vinegar is a preservative. I keep a large jar in the fridge and a smaller container on my counter. Send me a picture! Good luck!
PLease assist this mango impaired native NY'er who loves Guyanese pepper sauce!!!
Picked a mango for this recipe from the supermarket but when I opened it was orange inside and so sweet and delicious but I think not the right mango for this sauce??
Like I said I'm from NY and grew up with apples and pears as the fruit so am mango ignorant - any tips on what kind of mango to purchase for this? "green" is not enough as the one I bought was green on the outside but not, I think what you are referring to.
Please help as I want to make this sauce!! Love all food Guyaneses exposed to the cuisine at my job where some of the ladies are super amazing and generous cooks!!!
Yes you are correct, if the mango is sweet then you definitely don't want to use it. What you are looking for is mango with green skin that is hard to the touch when you press your finger into the skin. it should be sour if you peel it and cut a piece to taste. It should not be juicy at all. If you live in NY you can certainly find these types of mangoes at Asian vegetable & fruit markets. Do you live in the 5 boroughs? Feel free to email me, I can give you specifics on where to get the mango. My email address is inner email@example.com
Thanks for your message!
Beautiful pictures, I'll try recipe once I get some Wiri wiri
I normally use cucumber relish or onions along with the peppers instead of the green mango or cucumber.
Where in Florida can I find wirri wirri pepper ?
You can check out Caribbean Super Center in Orlando.
Does anyone know where I can buy a bottle of this sauce?
Has anyone tried a ripe mango for sweetness as opposed to a green mango for the sourness
Is there any place where I can buy the Weri Weri Peppers on Line.? These Peppers are great.? I use to work with a Friend of mine years ago.? Who was from Guyana.? And he use to give me a bag full of them.? Wish that I can still find them on line somewhere.? Any help would be appreciated.? Thanks for the recipe.
Hi, this looks great thanks I will definitely try this. Can you put up a recipe for how to make Mango Archar. Thanks
Thanks for the recipe. .
I tweaked it a little bit.. I mixed it with scotch bonnets and a bunch of habaneros. That wiri wiri brings out the fruitiness yet very very hot blend to it. I put a little mango with it too!! Perfect pepper sauce man!
I brought back a couple pounds of wiri wiri peppers I got from a friend who grows them in Florida and makes a variety of sauces (yes, he was born in Guyana). I have kept the peppers frozen for the last 2 months, now I am out of his sauce so I will go the homemade route using this recipe. Does anyone have thoughts on how long the sauce will last, in the refrigerator, using this recipe? Thanks!
I used this recipe to make two half-quart Ball jars of sauce and it is everything I hoped for and then some. Hopefully the wiri wiri pepper will become more readily available but, if not, I will try this blend with habanero or scotch bonnet.
I know this is an old and obscure thread, but I now have a source for wiri wiri peppers and would be glad to share with any other addicts. I have no financial interest in this, just sharing. Shipping is very expensive as these are kept frozen, but it is worth it for me.
If you want peppers in Atlanta, let me know. firstname.lastname@example.org
Love to get some
i am about to try this recipe. i had a bag of wiri-wiri peppers my mother gave me and had it in the freezer for about 9 months. just got back from my deployment and ready to hit up some guyanese recipes. GOO
My dad always blanched peppers with boiling water before grinding them..He is gone now and I wish I knew why. Thanks for sharing your recipe!
Heat is a preservative. Kills bacteria
If you are looking for wiri wiri pepper in Atlanta, let me know . ishri.sankar@Gmail.com
Aight man,so I got this really good friend of mine that I work with in Clearwater, FL, who happens to be a young man from Gyana. We've worked together for about a year and have enjoyed several discussions about the value of family, friends, great food and even a few really cool spiritual conversations, my friend "B" is Hindu and I'm Christian and we just enjoy talking about cool things man. So here's where I'm going man, the other day "B" brings this bottle of hot pepper sauce to work that he's been telling me about for a while that his grandma makes. So here it is in front of me, this glass jar filled with beautiful red sauce that I've been hearing about. Sorry mates, I should have prefaced this whole conversation on the fact that I am a hot sauce lover of every kind. So at lunch time, me, "B", and my Mexican friend "Rudy" are getting ready to put this sauce on some slices of pizza. Rudy had me scared because he had eaten some while I was still getting my plate together and when I saw Rudy's face, his eyes were red and watering and his face was turning red which is funny because Rudy is a real dark Mexican dude and we're the exact same age "45". I grew up in the Tampa Bay area and Rudy grew up in a tough part of California but it's crazy how much we got in common, hey man I guess I'm just trying to say that I work with some really good dudes man. Oh yeah, the sauce, all I can say man is holy shit it's the best, most amazing tasting hot sauce I've ever had. It's all about the Cherry Pepper man ( the Wiri Wiri pepper ) Iput it on hoagies, eggs, pasta dishes, anything. It's been about a month now and "B" just brought me a new jar of his grandma's sauce, my own potted Wiri Wiri plant and just a few of Grandma's sauce secrets. Thank you to my great friend Bishame and his sweet grandmother. I'll write again when I get around to attempting to make my first batch.
I grow wiri wiri plants year round. Some slight changes that I make to this sauce: instead of white vinegar - which is too harsh for my liking - I use rice vinegar. (not seasoned, just plain, and the best quality that I can find) Sometimes I'll replace the green mango with an onion, but I ALWAYS use culantro in the sauce. (that's culantro, not cilantro - you may find it a West Indian store, under the name "Shado Beni") I do love my wiri wiri peppers. They're also amazing pickled, or just in vinegar. (use the vinegar on sandwiches, eggs, etc)
Love your changes to the recipe. I'll have to give the rice vinegar a try. Thanks for your comment!
How long des it take for a wiri plant to produce from the time you start the seed?
Thanks for your reply.
I love to make pepper sauce…I can never find a commercially made one that I like. In order to prevent the sauce from getting mold, i put the blended sauce into a saucepan with a lid and heat it through gently just until it heats up…remember open the windows!!!! I also "rinse" the jar with vinegar before adding the sauce.
If you do get capsaicin. Pour Rubbing Alcohol or any hard alcohol, about 1-1 1/2 c. should do. And wash your hands with it. It will cut the effect from the capsaicin.
If you do get capsaicin on your hands. Pour Rubbing Alcohol or any hard alcohol into a bowl, about 1-1 1/2 c. should do. And wash your hands with it. It will cut the effect of the capsaicin.
Do you can any for later?
Wiri wiri peppers are not easy to come by. My husband and I make a trip a couple times a year to Schenectady NY where we can find the wiri wiri frozen. But they're quite expensive. I wish I could cross the Canadian border and bring them back. But no fruits or vegetables are allowed to cross.
I make my pepper sauce extremely similar; I add much more garlic and vinegar, but I also add in some habaneros and scotch bonnet peppers and make about a gallon total. It goes pretty fast in my home.
How long can it be stored in the refrigerator?
I couldn't tell you an exact time, but it has vinegar in it so it should stay for a long time.