Pili pili, often called piri piri, is served as a table condiment in West Africa, where it heats up grilled meat, poultry, shrimp, and fish. Nearly any green chile can be used to make this sauce. Some recipes call for tomatoes or tomato sauce to be added.
Popular with the Yemenite Jews in Israel and in the Middle East, this hot sauce starts with a paste of garlic and peppers plus whatever spices the individual cook chooses, along with cilantro and/or parsley. There are two versions, this green one and a red one that uses red sweet and hot peppers. Tomatoes are sometimes added to tone down the sauce, which can be quite spicy. This quick and easy sauce serves as a table condiment, as a sauce for grilled fish or meat or for eggs, or can be added to soups and stews just before serving. It goes especially well with lamb kabobs.
The technique of soaking a food in a liquid to flavor it—or in the case of meats, to tenderize the cut—was probably brought to the Caribbean by the Spanish. A marinade is easier to use than a paste, and when grilling your jerk meats, the marinade can also be used as a basting sauce. “In Jamaica,” notes food writer Robb Walsh, “like Texas barbecue, jerk is served on butcher paper and eaten with your hands.” Serve this version of jerk with a salad and grilled plantains.