Coat your stomach with some yogurt like our friends from India do, because this is SPICY! Well, I may be exaggerating, but this condiment packs up the heat! Ají is the Ecuadorean version of Frank’s Red Hot Original Sauce (“I put that sh** on everything!”). It is made with ajies, which are red hot chile peppers.
As with Frank’s, you truly can put aji on everything. If you want to make any meal spicy, including those from the recipes I’ve posted before, ají is your condiment. There are different versions of ají throughout the country, as each region or province has their own. This particular recipe is the one I was most used to, but I will make sure to post the other variations.
Note of caution: Avoid touching your eyes after you seed and devein the chile peppers.
Salsa de Ají Ecuatoriana
3 large tomatoes – 2 whole seeded, 1 seeded and chunked
1/4 of a medium red onion (white works as well)
5 red chiles, seeded and deveined
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper to taste
Drizzle of oil to taste
In a pot with boiling water, cook the two whole tomatoes until tender and the skin easily peels off. Remove the tomatoes from the water and remove the skin.
In a food processor add the cooked tomatoes, the chiles and the onion. Process until smooth. Add lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Add the cilantro and the remaining chunked tomato. Pulse to achieve a chunky consistency. Drizzle with oil, and mix. Serve as a condiment with any meal.