This hot sauce from Pernambuco is commonly served in a small dish at Brazilian meals to spice up such dishes as feijoada and seafood stews. It features the malagueta pepper, that close relative of the tabasco pepper. Variation: Make a paste by pureeing the peppers, garlic, onion, and salt in a blender. Add the lemon or lime juice and stir well.
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 basic sauce can be used in any recipe calling for a red sauce, either traditional Mexican or New Southwestern versions of beans, tacos, tamales, and enchiladas. Variations: Spices such as cumin, coriander, and Mexican oregano may be added to taste. Some versions of this sauce call for the onion and garlic to be sauteed in lard--or vegetable oil these days--before the chiles and water are added.
This highly aromatic Burmese sauce is commonly used to heat up Southeast Asian curries. Shrimp or prawn paste may be substituted for the fermented dried fish if you can't find it at the Asian market. In a pinch, use canned anchovy fillets.
From Arequipa, Peru, one of the hottest (chile-wise) cities in Latin America, comes this unusual, delicious sauce that is traditionally served over boiled and sliced potatoes that are garnished with lettuce, olives, and hardboiled egg slices. Try it over fried fish as well.
From Sierra Leone, here is one of the more unusual hot sauces I encountered. Besides palm oil, it is characterized by greens such as cassava and sweet potato leaves; spinach makes an adequate substitute. Some versions of this dish are more of a stew than a sauce, but this one is designed to be served over rice. Warning: Palm oil is high in saturated fat.
In northern Mexico, the chiles, tomatoes, and onions are grilled before making Salsa Cruda, so why not substitute some fried vegetables? Separately frying the ingredients and flavoring with cilantro keeps this from being a pasta sauce. Serve this with chips or as a topping for grilled meat, poultry, or fish.