Pilipili ya ukwaju – Tamarind sauce

June 30 , 2015 by: Mbremmer Soßen

Because of the easy preparation and the nice taste Pilipili ya Ukwaju belongs to the typical sauces on the Swahili coast and is a ‘Must’ at Bajiya and other food stalls there.

The manifold of snacks of the Swahili would be half as tasty without a sauce, called Pilipili, to go with. There is a wide range of sauces and it won’t hurt if You keep some of the in Your fridge or portionwise in Your freezer – depending on the spicyness and the ingredients they will last some days if kept cooled. But even to prepair pilipili fresh ist’t difficult and won’t take much time. In most of the times You will also have all the ingredients ready at home. That’s the case with Pilipili ya Ukwaju, the probably most flexible sauce of the Swahili: Because of the sour tast of the main ingredient tamarind You can even take the sauce to marinate fish or meat brochettes. At the same time Pilipili ya Ukwaju gives Bajiya or Viazi vya karai the typical taste.

Ingredients: (If necessary just take double or thrice the amount)

A piece of tamarind (size of two tablespoons)

250 ml hot water

1 fresh chili

1/2 onion

1 piece of garlic

Some salt and pepper

Some oil


1/2 teaspoon grated ginger

1 tomato


Put the tamarind into a small bowl and pour the hot water onto the tamarind. After at least half an hour strain the mixture then add the other ingredients and puree until You get a thickiesh sauce. Now the only thing left is to taste salt and the Pilipili ya Ukwaju is ready!


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