Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Pépè Rose

Funke Koleosho's Pépè Rose
Served as a Topping/Garnish

I remember from many years back, the Ghanaian wife (Rose) of a family member used to make a salsa style dip/sauce which she served with fried yam. I remember her telling us then, that back in her native Ghana, this sauce was made and served raw, no cooking required, just grinding in a mortar and drizzled with oil....but because her husband had not taken a liking to eating the sauce raw, she had applied a little modification to it, she put it through a bit of heat processing.

I still remember the really exciting combination of tastes and flavours from all the individual ingredients she used, onions, scotch bonnet chillis & tomatoes; to make Pépè. Far from the way it was served in Ghana, Rose heat up some oil and sautéed the ground ingredients. (A special Ghanaian grinding mortar is used for this process).

So, many many years down the line, I have tried to replicate this sauce but with a rather exciting twist. I thought about colours, textures and flavours, and I came up with Pépè Rose, in honour of Rose, the Ghanaian wife of my close relative!

Over the years, I have used Pépè Rose in a variety of ways mainly to serve as a dipping sauce or for topping or garnishing other dishes especially fish or chicken. I get a lot of people requesting for seconds when I serve this sauce to entertain friends and family. Its really appealing to the eyes and if properly seasoned and cooked in a timely manner, it offers an explosion of tastes, flavours and textures in the mouth, best experienced than described. It is excellent served warm or cold.....you should try this out.

What you need
  • Handful of finely diced red onion
  • Handful of finely diced green pepper
  • Handful of finely diced red pepper
  • Some pre-made red pepper base sauce (get recipe here)
  • Stock/bouillon powder
  • Groundnut oil

What to do
  1. Heat up some oil in a sauce pan and add the diced red onion, and peppers. 
  2. Sprinkle some stock/bouillon powder and stir in. 
  3. Then add some pre-made red pepper base sauce and stir well. Use a proportionate amount as preferred.
  4. Allow to sizzle for no more than 5 minutes so that you can retain the vibrant colours of the onions and peppers. This time is also enough to soften the diced onions/peppers to allow the pre-made sauce to infuse with them. 
  5. Taste and adjust as required using the bouillon powder. 
  6. Its ready! 
  7. Use as a garnish or serve as a dip.


Pépè Rose served as a dipping sauce