Ají – Colombian Spicy Salsa

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Preparation time
10 mins
4 people
Meal course
Posted by
Posted on
1/2 cup
Cold Water
Jalapeño Chilli
1/4 cup
1/2 cup
Spring Onions
1 cup
Ají – Colombian Spicy Salsa

This version of ají, a spicy Colombian salsa, is one of the quickest and easiest salsas I’ve found to make in Latin America. It uses just four raw ingredients to create a tasty condiment that you’ll find on most tables in cafes, or in little cups at street stalls in Bogota.

Ají goes well with almost any Colombian dish, especially meats, arepas and potatoes. I have a bowl ready to bring out at every meal. However, in Colombia, it is most commonly served with empanadas.

The ingredients are very similar to the Central American ‘pico de gallo’ but this recipe uses water instead of lime, giving it a completely different flavour. Other recipes replace water with vinegar. Flavourful and fresh, this recipe will bring a taste of Colombia to your table within a matter of minutes.

This recipe should last a few days if there are one or two of you. But, if there are more mouths to feed who like their food spicy, it may only last a single sitting!

This recipe is adapted from J. Kenji López-Alt’s recipe at seriouseats.com.

  1. Finely chop the tomatoes and cilantro, and dice the spring onions. Remove the stem and seeds from the chilli, and finely chop that as well.
  2. Place the finely chopped spring onions, tomatoes, chilli and cilantro in a bowl.
  3. Sprinkle a generous helping of salt on top, stir well and leave to sit for 2-3 minutes.

  4. Add the half a cup of water and stir again.

  5. Keep covered and refrigerated until ready to serve.

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