Aji Amarillo chilli peppers mature from green into a deep orange when ripe. An average sized yellow chilli is around five inches in length, but they can get between 6 and 7 inches long. Like all members of Capsicum baccatum, the Aji Amarillo chilli is flavour forward, with a spicy kick at the end. It has a unique fruity flavour, reminiscent of a Poblano chilli, and a subtle spice that is less harsh and more full-bodied. The Aji Amarillo ranks between 30,000 and 50,000 on the Scoville scale.
Aji Amarillo chilli peppers are in the Capsicum baccatum family, and are among some of the lesser-known chilies. “Aji” is what most South Americans call chilies, and in Peru, the most popular and important ingredient in regional dishes is Aji Amarillo, or Peruvian hot pepper. These spicy chilies are also known as Aji Escabeche, Aji Limon or simply as yellow chilli.
Aji Amarillo chilies are used most often in recipes as a paste. The chilies are dried and used as a ground spice in a variety of dishes. When cooked, the chilies turn yellow, living up to their name. The spicy chilli is used to flavour many Peruvian and Bolivian dishes. The size of the chilies makes it a good candidate for stuffing or grilling applications. For fresh Aji Amarillo chilies, dice and add to mango or pineapple salsas, or boil whole fresh chilies and puree into a paste. Add to soups for an additional kick, or In Peru, the Aji Amarillo is considered to be part of the condiment trio, along with onions and garlic.
Aji Amarillo chilies, as well as other members in the baccatum species, are native to South and Central America and have been cultivated for over 7,000 years. Baccatum is a loose translation of “berry-like” which alludes to the shape of the fruits of the species.