Early in the sixteenth century, chiles were transferred from Portuguese Brazil to their colony of Angola. These small, piquin-like chiles (which were probably Brazilian malaguetas) were called piri-piri (pepper-pepper) and became an integral part of the local cuisine. The sauce made from them was transferred back to Portugual, where it is a staple on dining tables--served with seafood, soups, and stews. Since the piri-piri chiles are not usually available, use chiles de árbol, cayenne chiles, chile piquins, or chiltepíns. Note: This recipe requires advance preparation.
This sauce is thought to be of Tunisian origin, but is found throughout all of North Africa and the Middle East under various names and spellings. It is used to flavor couscous and grilled dishes such as brochettes, and also as a relish with salads. Cover this sauce with a thin film of olive oil and it will keep up to a couple of months in the refrigerator.