African Fiery Peri-Peri Seafood Stew Recipe

Peri peri is Swahili for pepper pepper.

The Fiery Peri-Peri Seafood Stew is a classic African dish with shrimp, smoked fish, palm oil, spicy peri-peri sauce, and a variety of vegetables.

African Fiery Peri-Peri Seafood Stew Recipe


1/2 pound raw shrimp

2 filets of any smoked fish

1 onion finely chopped

1 teaspoon minced garlic

2 ripe tomatoes, chopped

1 tablespoon palm oil

2 cups water

1 tablespoon peri-peri sauce

1 chopped hot pepper

1 bay leaf

Salt to taste


In a large pot over medium heat, sauté onion with palm oil until soft. Add remaining ingredients. Simmer for 15 minutes or until potatoes are soft; add sardines and simmer for 10 minutes more. Serve over rice.

African Fiery Peri-Peri Seafood Stew Recipe

What is peri-peri? Peri Peri or Piri piri is a hot pepper sauce used in cooking or as a condiment used in the same way as hot sauce. Peri peri is Swahili for pepper pepper.

Who Are the Swahili in Africa? The Swahili see themselves as neither African nor Asian, but as having their own unique civilization. Swahili is the culture of many groups uniquely blended together. 

Swahili acquired its name from the Arabs in the 16th century, being referred to as Watu wa Pwani, or people of the coast. Engaged in trade for centuries, the Swahili were predominantly involved in the exchange of ivory, slaves from Africa, textiles, and beads from Asia. The Swahili identity is distinctive, with individuals self-identifying as either African or Asian but also recognizing their unique civilization.

The influence of the Omanis on Swahili culture in the 16th century was substantial, introducing numerous Arabic words into the Swahili language and perpetuating a sense of superiority based on social status and way of life. Subsequently, Arab merchants who arrived in the 19th and 20th centuries intermarried with female African slaves.

Over time, both Arabs and the slaves embraced the Swahili language and assimilated into the Swahili identity, while acknowledging distinctions in family lineage. Local non-Muslim inhabitants were dismissively labeled "The People of the Coast" by the rulers of the Sultanate of Zanzibar; however, this term is rarely used by the Swahili.

Certain individuals postulate the existence of four distinct groups of Swahili people: those tracing their lineage to Arabs, those born to original Swahili parents, those born into families resulting from intermarriage between Arabs and the Swahili, and those born elsewhere but integrated into the Swahili culture.

Lamu Old Town, situated in Kenya's Coast Province within the Lamu District, has been continuously inhabited for over 700 years. Renowned for hosting significant Muslim religious festivals since the 19th century, the town has emerged as a vital center for studying Islamic and Swahili cultures. Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site, Lamu Old Town stands as the oldest and most well-preserved Swahili settlement in East Africa, maintaining its traditional roles.

Lamu Museum and Lamu Fort endeavor to develop and reinforce programs concerning Swahili culture in the educational institutions of Lamu, ensuring the perpetuation of the Swahili culture. Consequently, Lamu epitomizes one of the finest representations of the unique Swahili culture in East Africa, borne out of interactions among the Bantu, Arabs, Persians, Indians, and Europeans.
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