African Bird's Eye Chili

African birds eye plantThe African Bird's Eye chili is mainly produced in Malawi, South Africa, Ghana, Nigeria, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. The chili is small at about 3 centimeters long and matures from green to red or purple. The heat level broadly ranges from SR 50,000 to 175,000, depending on the variety and the growing environment.

The African Bird's Eye is often called Peri-Peri (Piri piri, pili pili), which means "pepper-pepper" in Swahili and is a generic term for just about any chili out of Africa. Many commercial sauces are labeled as Peri-Peri yet use the names African bird's eye or peri-peri interchangeably in the ingredients.

Although the name used is a generalized term not unlike our common "red pepper," it's safe to assume they reference the same botanical description.

The consensus is that the African Bird's Eye chili is a Capsicum frutescens which is a relative to the tabasco chili.

The chili is used for sauces and marinades that go great with chicken and fish. The chilies are very pungent, imparting a very unique taste to the sauces made from them.