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Old 07-15-2008, 11:22 AM   #1
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Secret(?) Brazilian/Portuguese paste

A little while ago I had a Brazilian flatmate whose mom sent him some "sauce" from home, and I've been trying to find the recipe for it. Apparently it's a common ingredient for all sorts of things from rice dishes to marinades to soups and even dips. There are subtle variations from region to region, or even at the family level but there are significant areas of overlap.

All of them have garlic, but the rest i'm not sure about. The paste from his mom was slightly orange in colour (suggesting carrots). And when swirling a little of the paste in water, one could make out fragments of a green leaf .. celery or parsely maybe? It was very strong in taste, quite salty, and very addictive .. one teaspoon in a pot of rice was enough to make left-overs impossible to keep .. The only other clue he could give me was that his mom would spend ages crushing the ingredients in a pestle and mortar.

Another variation is a local Portuguese garlic sauce sold as "Prego Sauce". Similarly addictive, this one differs by being very very red, having a lot of oil in it, and some chillies too. But the other ingredients are equally obscure. The label simply says "garlic, chillies, veg oil, spices, mixed herbs, grape vinegar". When I called up the manufacturers, they were very cagey and said it was a secret recipe (of course!)

Please help! Does anyone here know the secret of Portuguese / Brazilian garlic sauces (or pastes or stocks) .. ????

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Old 07-15-2008, 12:16 PM   #2
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Do you remember which part/ city of Brazil your flatmate was from. I have a friend in BRazil I can ask, but I know the cuisines differ significantly depending on the region your friend came from. So if you can remember that info I may be able to get an answer from my friend ( assuming they are from the same region).
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Old 07-15-2008, 12:18 PM   #3
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Hi Larry - thanks for the speedy reply!

He was from Fortaleza in Cera state.
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Old 07-15-2008, 12:25 PM   #4
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Ok, Ill ask my friend if she has an idea. She is actually on vacation now, so it may be over the weekend before I get a response. Hopefully someone else will have an idea too.
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Old 07-15-2008, 12:30 PM   #5
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Only one I know is chimichurri
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Old 07-15-2008, 12:35 PM   #6
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I can't answer your question but will be interested in other's answers! Sounds like a versatile sauce mix.
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Old 07-15-2008, 01:03 PM   #7
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I have a recipe for a prego sauce - haven't made it myself and don't know how authentic it is though
First make a peri-peri sauce by blending 50g crushed dried chillies, 6 crushed garlic cloves, 40ml lemon juice and rind,10ml salt and slowly adding 90ml each olive and sunflower oil while the machine is running - blend for 10 min until smooth.
Blend 60ml of above sauce (keep the rest in the fridge) with 1 crushed clove garlic, 2ml cumin,15ml olive oil to make the prego sauce
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Old 07-28-2008, 07:21 AM   #8
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@JillBurgh -- thanks for the lead on chimichurri, I'll give that a try!

@TanyaK -- thanks, i'll give that a try too! And I see you're in CPT like me: the local red garlic sauce I'm referring to is available at some Spar outlets (the Rosmead Avenue one in particular) and is almost identical to another sauce called "Chippies" which you might have come across. It makes a paella wonder how it could claim to be ready, without a spoonful mixed in

The flavour is so addictive that I can't help wondering if there is something more exotic. Olive paste perhaps? I might even consider anchovies, except that it lasts forever, which casts a bit of doubt on that theory!

I'll try those suggestions and feedback here.
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Old 08-06-2008, 11:59 AM   #9
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Good having another Capetonian on board ! Will definitely have to try the sauce you're talking about !
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Old 08-07-2008, 07:31 AM   #10
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Here is a recipe for my Chimichurri Sauce. It goes great with my recipe for Chimichurri Steak.
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Old 08-07-2008, 10:55 AM   #11
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Are you sure the orange coloring comes from carrots and not annatto (achiote plant)?. Annatto powder/paste is used in lots of South American and Mexican cooking. It is also used in coloring oleo and cheese.

Here is what a package of it looks like. It can be found in most stores that carry Mexican food items.

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Old 08-07-2008, 12:37 PM   #12
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As for the color, Palm oil ( or Dende oil) is used frequently in Brazil, and has a dstinct orange color. So, that probably solves the color mystery.

Dend� Oil (azeite de dend�)
A heavy tropical oil extracted from the African palm growing in Northern Brazil. One of the basic ingredients in Bahian or Afro-Brazilian cuisine, it adds a wonderful flavor and bright orange color to foods. There is no equivalent substitution, but it is available in markets specializing in Brazilian imports
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Old 08-07-2008, 12:51 PM   #13
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The green ' leafy' things could have been Cilantro, since I know my friend commonly uses it in her cooking. Any word on which region of Brazil your friend was from ?? that could help narrow things down a bit.
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Old 08-08-2008, 01:01 AM   #14
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The anatto reference is very interesting, but from the details I found on Wikipedia, I doubt that there was any in the Brazilian sauce. It wasn't spicy as such, except maybe a hint of chili which might have actually been green peppers (aka bell peppers?).

But there there might very well be some anatto in that secret Protuguese prego sauce, which is very spicy. Or maybe Larry's Dend Oil. I must try and find these somewhere.

I'm not certain at all that there were carrots in the Brazilian paste .. but in taste it was very much like an intensely rich vegetable stock with a very healthy dose of garlic. In this paste, there was no oil. And it lasted for ages in the fridge .. it was still in perfect shape when we finished it more than 6 months later!

The intense flavour and longevity of it suggested to me that fermentation might have been part of the process, but my flatmate couldn't confirm this. I tried to duplicate it by blending as finely as possible some garlic, celery, carrots, and salt. But it was nowhere close to the original! Even when it "fermented"
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Old 08-08-2008, 01:05 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larry_stewart View Post
The green ' leafy' things could have been Cilantro, since I know my friend commonly uses it in her cooking. Any word on which region of Brazil your friend was from ?? that could help narrow things down a bit.
Thanks larry .. He was from Fortaleza in Cera state.

As for the cilantro, I love the distinctive flavour, but I couldn't detect it in the paste.
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Old 08-08-2008, 05:26 AM   #16
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Fortaleza is a good tip, I think my friend has relatives there, Ill see what she can dig up
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Old 08-10-2008, 07:07 AM   #17
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My wife is from Brasil.

What you are talking about is called a "Tempero" which is basically a cooking base for dishes in which usually contains salt, pepper, garlic, onion. There are different varieties though.







It's widely available in any Brasillian grocery store if you live near any that is. Or you can but it online: MercadoBrazil.com : Brazilian Food Market


Or even better yet. You can use natural ingredients in which most prefer
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Old 08-10-2008, 07:19 AM   #18
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Tempero Recipe

In this post i attached a PDF for a tempero recipe. Enjoy!
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File Type: pdf Tempero.pdf (52.0 KB, 888 views)
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Old 08-10-2008, 07:29 AM   #19
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As for the Portuguese sauce you are talking about it sounds like you are describing "Piri Piri sauce"

Piri Piri is a red pepper native to Africa. The Portuguese use it alot in BBQ marinades.



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Old 08-10-2008, 07:31 AM   #20
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This is BBQ chicken cooked with piri piri sauce:


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