4 Ingredients | 5 Minutes | Super versatile African pepper sauce with bell peppers, habanero peppers, tomatoes and onions – parboiled to perfection. Use as pasta sauce, or salsa-style dip!
Pepper sauce was one of the first things I learned to make when I started dating my boyfriend. This African pepper sauce has bell peppers, tomatoes, habanero peppers and onions – and parboiled to a sauce like consistency. Called Ata Din Din, this pepper sauce forms the base of almost all the spicy dishes in Nigeria. And the great thing is that it’s SO versatile – we’ve used it as a base for pasta, cooked a wildly delicious jollof rice, and occasionally just straight up used it as a fiery dip.
How do you make African pepper sauce?
Well, I’m glad you asked. It’s super simple – I chop 4 red bell peppers, 3 tomatoes, 1/2 an onion, and 2-3 habanero peppers roughly, and then blend them with about 1/2 cup of water. Then, I parboil the blended mixture at low to medium heat for about 30-45 minutes.
Is the sauce super spicy? What if I want to tone it down?
What I love about this African pepper sauce is that, despite it’s name, it’s actually super versatile. The blend that I used would probably end up being somewhere between medium and hot on a spicy scale. But it’s so easy to adjust that to your preference. To make it it spicier (and more true to the Nigerian pepper sauce) add more habanero peppers (or the original, Scotch Bonnet pepper if you get that in your area). If you want to make a milder but still have a kick, just add one habanero. Finally, if you love the taste, but don’t want it to be super spicy, just use the bell peppers! Totally up to you.
How do you typically eat this African pepper sauce?
The possibilities are endless! I wrote a long post about making Nigerian jollof rice a while ago. I used the Nigerian version of the pepper sauce (with an extra habanero) as the base for that recipe. I’ve made a terrific vegan red pepper alfredo with this sauce and some mushrooms too. Recipe for a fiery dip with this sauce coming soon too!Print
Super versatile African pepper sauce with bell peppers, habanero peppers, tomatoes and onions – parboiled to perfection. Use as pasta sauce, or salsa-style dip!
- 4 red bell peppers
- 3 habanero peppers
- 3 Roma tomatoes
- 1/2 yellow onion
- 1/2 cup of water
- Chop all the ingredients roughly into quarters – make sure to remove the seeds from the peppers
- Blend using smoothie setting (roughly 1 minute on my Vitamix preset)
- Transfer to a medium pot and simmer on a low-medium flame for about 30-45 minutes
- Turn off the stove when all the water has evaporated – store in an air tight container in a fridge and use for up to a week!
- You’ll know when the sauce is parboiled when the top starts forming large bubbles that pop – this means that most of the water has evaporated
- I keep my sauce seasoning free so it can take on flavors best suited to the dish I make with the sauce (e.g. more bold curry-type flavors for jollof rice, or more Italian flavors for pasta) – you’re welcome to add seasoning to the sauce after it parboils!
- Category: Sauce
- Method: Parboiled
- Cuisine: African
Keywords: african pepper sauce, how to make pepper sauce, nigerian pepper sauce, ata din din