Every aji I’ve tasted has some ingredients in common: the tree tomato or tomate de arbol, red onion, hot peppers, a little salt, and a little oil. But every chef seems to offer their own twist. I’ve already shared one recipe that was inspired by a chef at the Swiss Hotel, where we spent our first few weeks in country. This time, I’m going to share a recipe from the chef at a small lodge tucked away behind Cotopaxi National Park, Los Mortiños. He has a secret ingredient that made his aji the best I have yet tasted in Ecuador.
Ají de Los Mortiños
- 2 tree tomatoes (tomate de arbol or tamarillo pulp by Goya found in some Latin American grocery stores)
- 2-3 hot peppers
- 1 red onion
- 1 tablespoon of natural peanut butter (or more to taste)
- vegetable oil
Mince the parsely and set it aside.
This article was originally published in February, 2014. It has since been updated and reformatted.
Now this is something new. Is there another name for tree tomato? I’ve honestly never heard of it but as so many fruits never get past customs I am not surprised. Also, did not know about the boiled water technique. Very informative post.
I wrote about the tree tomato in the first recipe on Aji… There is a farm out in CA that’s attempting to grow them. Tomate de arbol are essential to many Ecuadorian dishes. We also drink the juice. Not sure why we don’t grow them in the US.
I’ve also tried the boiled water trick with red onions that I want to fast pickle. Think I picked that up from the Moosewood Cookbook.