Home RecipesPeruvian Dishes Homemade Peruvian Ají Amarillo Paste (Yellow Chilli)

Homemade Peruvian Ají Amarillo Paste (Yellow Chilli)

by Lorena

Ají Amarillo paste is used in many Peruvian recipes. It has incredible flavour and is an essential part of Peruvian cuisine. It’s not spicy made this way and you can use it in recipes such as ají de gallina, salsa huancaína, ceviche and more. You can look for it fresh or frozen in Latin shops near you.

Making ají Amarillo paste is very easy. It only takes a bit of time to remove all the seeds and veins, but besides that it’s pretty straightforward. What I do usually is not only make enough for one recipe but actually make LOTS extra, usually 1kg of chillies, and then freeze the extra. It freezes perfectly for up to a year, so in this way, you can add it at any time to all sorts of recipes. The chilli is traditionally blended with vegetable oil, but sometimes I make jam so sometimes I use water instead. Whether it’s made with water or oil, just add the minimum needed for your blender to work properly.

ají amarillo paste

Ají amarillo paste is sometimes added to a sofrito, others it’s just used straight. Made this way, it’s not spicy at all. The reason why we avoid store-bought ají Amarillo paste is because it’s made by blending almost all the chilli, resulting in a very spicy paste. So many times in an ají de gallina, causa or salsa huancaína where you use lots of it, the result can be very spicy. That’s why it’s best to make it at home. Here’s a list of recipes where you’ll be able to use it:

Yellow chilli paste is part of the 3 chillies that are mostly used in Peruvian Cuisine along with ají mirasol and ají panca. It’s delicious even for recipes that aren’t necessarily Peruvian, like my Peruvian Peri Peri sauce, a fusion I invented, hehe. Here are those recipes:

Ají panca paste
Smoky, deep and delicious.
Check out this recipe
Ají mirasol paste
Made with dried ají amarillo.
Check out this recipe
ají amarillo paste

Homemade Peruvian Ají Amarillo Paste (Yellow Chilli)

5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 400 ml of chilli paste, about 2 cups
Author: Lorena Salinas from Cravings Journal


  • 1 kg Peruvian ají Amarillo whole, fresh or frozen and thawed


  • Cut off both ends of the ají Amarillo and open it in half lengthwise.
  • With a knife or spoon, remove the seeds and veins.
  • Place all the clean chillies in a pot with plenty of room temperature water.
  • Let it boil for 10-15 minutes or until if you rub the skin, it peels easily.
  • Remove them from the water and peel them. Blend the chillies with a minimum of oil or water, just enough to get the blender going.
  • Keep in the fridge for up to 5 days or freeze for up to a year.
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ají amarillo paste


M March 7, 2024 - 7:23 pm

Where do you get the chillis? Would dried peppers work the same?

Lorena March 11, 2024 - 10:33 pm

Hi! Try latin supermarkets 🙂

Michele April 28, 2024 - 12:41 pm

If you have garden space you can grow then. Seeds are available from online sources, Germination time is loooong–about 3-4 weeks.


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