Ají Llanero (Los Llanos Orientales Hot Sauce)
- 1 red pepper chopped
- ½ habanero or ají pique chopped
- 1 garlic clove chopped
- 1 ½ cups warm milk
- 2 tablespoons chopped scallions
- 1 tablespoon cilantro chopped
- Salt and pepper to you taste
- Mix all the ingredients well in a glass container.
- Let rest for a minimum of 3 hours before using.
Ají Llanero is a traditional hot sauce from Los Llanos Orientales (The Eastern Plains) in Colombia. It’s located east of the Colombian Andes and north of the Amazon, and is shared between Colombia and Venezuela.
Los Llanos are the home of the Colombian llaneros (cowboys) and where the primary economic activity is the herding of cattle, which explains why this region of the country is known for their delicious beef recipes. The most recognized dish In Los Llanos is the Veal a la Llanera, served with yuca and plantain.
This Ají Llanero is also known in Colombia as Ají Llanero de Leche, Ají Pique Llanero, and Ajicero, or Picante Andino in Venezuela. There are different versions of this hot sauce depending on the family, cook and country. Some people add cumin, oil, onions, oregano, and more. The recipe I am sharing is very simple and traditional, but you can add more ingredients to your taste. It’s served typically with soups and stews, but it’s also delicious over grilled meats, fish and vegetables.