Peri Peri

When Portuguese colonialists established their colony in Mozambique they discovered the Birds-Eye Chilli, called Pili-Pili in the Swahili language. The Portuguese called it Piri-Piri and some started calling it Peri-Peri, and began using this fiery ingredient with a blend of herbs as part of their cuisine. African Birds Eye Chilli originally grew on the east coast of Africa, where it gives distinct flavour to Afro-Portuguese dishes such as Peri-Peri Chicken. The fresh, grassy flavour and the heat of the birds eye chilli makes it ideal for use in sauces and casseroles.

The Portuguese took this chilli to Portugal and their colony in Angola, from where it was taken to their colony in Brazil. In Brazil it is widely used in food. In Portugal peri-peri beame popular, especially since descolonization with a lot of people returning from Africa. Peri-peri is used in grilled chicken in Portuguese cuisine, and it was influenced by Mozambican one.

Nando's, the Portuguese-themed chicken restaurant originated in South Africa from Portuguese who left Mozambique after independence in 1975. The chain uses peri-peri in many of its dishes, and helped popularise them worldwide.

All indications are that peri-peri originated from Muslim lands in east Africa. This is backed-up by the name being in Swahili, a language derived from Arabic, and that east Africa, where it was originally grown, was largely ruled by Muslims for centuries. Thus, Muslims had a hand in bringing this fiery delight to the world.