AHI CHOMBO (Panamanian Hot Sauce)

AHI CHOMBO (Panamanian Hot Sauce)

So remember when I said that Costa Rican food isn’t particularily spicy?

…well they do serve some very hot stuff on the side.

The two women whose home we visited

and with whom we enjoyed a typical Costa Rican meal,

also prepared a homemade Ahi Chombo (literally ‘black pepper’)…

…a golden looking sauce,

somewhat resembling a pico de gallo (salsa) but more finely processed.

I added a bit of it with the Gallo Pinto (black beans and rice).

Yep! very spicy, but I went back for more.

The fire stayed in my mouth for a while, then was replaced with a wonderful burst of flavour.

Knowing the love that went into making it and the proud look on their faces

was reason enough for seconds but it really was that good.

The fresh pineapple juice served with the meal served to put out the fire.


12 scotch bonnets peppers

1 small onion

2-3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 tsp turmeric

(if I could have found fresh tumeric I would have used that – 2-3 slices)

2 tsp sea salt

1 tsp dry mustard

2-3 tbsp fresh lime juice

3/4 cup white vinegar

1/4 cup water

Galley Kat method

(because I wasn’t exactly sure which or how much of the ingredients to use

or how long to cook

or, if indeed this was what it was supposed to taste like)

Place peppers on the grill or under a broiler and cook until they start to char.

You can grill or broil the onion too if you wish,

but I just chopped it.

*Cut the stems from the peppers (see Galley Kat Note)

Add them to a small saucepan with the chopped onions

and the rest of the ingredients.

Simmer on low for about 15 minutes until some,

but not all of the liquid has evaporated.

Cool slightly then blend until smooth.

This was ‘oh my’ firey good.

We first tried is out on some pizza…


This should come with a warning…

…maybe necessary to sign a waiver.

But if you love spice,

you will LOVE this!

Galley Kat Note

All kidding aside,

be very carefull when handling the peppers.

Gloves are advisable,

or at the very least wash your hands very well with soap and water

after touching and please don’t touch any treasured body parts until you do.


4 thoughts on “AHI CHOMBO (Panamanian Hot Sauce)

  1. My across the street neighbor made some of this for me – and it is unique in terms of hot sauce. The flavor isn’t over powering, but the hotness is definitely there. So you can use this in sauces or recipes you already like but just want to be spicy. Great recipe.

    1. Let me know how it turns out. I wasn’t exactly sure how to make it authentic but my daughter said it tasted just as she remembered it. Very very spicy by the way, but oh so good!

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