11 January 2015

Adam's Piment or the "Best the Village's Ever Had"

It seems everywhere we go there's some local spicy condiment that everyone swears by.

In Congo it's pilli pilli. In Rwanda it's Akabanga. Thailand's got sriracha. Here in Burkina it's piment. A few months ago Adam went on a trip to Bobo-Dioulasso, a little over 5 hours from where we live in Ouagadougou.

When he returned all he could talk about was the piment he had there at a friend's house.

So over the holidays we passed through Bobo-Dioulasso and made a mandatory stop to ask for the recipe. Clare, the keeper of the recipe, explained the details directly to me. Because surely I would be the one preparing the piment for my helpless husband.

Back in Ouaga Adam asked his favorite roadside vegetable vendor lady for an oversize bag of yellow peppers. Now veggie lady is already pretty amused that Adam's the household grocery shopper and chef, so when he explained he was making piment, she lost it. So much so that he promised to bring some back to her to prove it.

Adam was obligated to teach Anastasie because she took a sample of his first batch back to her village, and delivered the message back to him that it was "the best piment they've ever had."

I claim classic buttering up of the foreigner, but Adam's convinced he's the piment king of the village.

Forthwith the proof and the recipe for Adam's Piment Jaune Écrasé (a variation of the original from Clare):


1 bowl of small hot peppers (seeds removed) - these are locally grown Ojemmas, similar to Habaneros
1 green pepper
8 cloves garlic
1 bunch parsley
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp coarse salt 
1 tsp vinegar
1 tsp mustard

Add yellow and green peppers, garlic, parsley and coarse salt.


Woman's work, Adam. Step aside.


Resent lack of attention. (Side note: Does anyone else's kid insist on the one shoulder look?)

Keep pounding until it looks like so.

Don't forget to wipe spicy shrapnel from the wall.

Spoon into jars.

Add oil, vinegar and mustard. Shake.

Voila. Adam adds a spoonful to his morning egg in a basket. And really, on top of everything else he eats too.

Deliver sample to veggie lady.

Just changing cultural constructs one jar of piment at a time.


  1. That is a lovely post. Especially about the cultural constructs. I really enjoy reading your blog and missed it during your move! I've lived in tame Germany for 10 years now and need to read about other people's adventures.

  2. Great post - especially the pics!

  3. So glad you are back posting! Keep them coming, I love hearing about your life across the world!

  4. Thank you Sarah, God bless you. Do you have recipe for pili pili that is served in Congo. If you know pls do share.thanks in advance .

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