RECIPE | Peri-peri chicken livers

Try this dish from the new cookery book 'Spice Odyssey' by Cariema Isaacs

Cariema Isaacs' peri-peri chicken livers from 'Spice Odyssey'
Cariema Isaacs' peri-peri chicken livers from 'Spice Odyssey'

Try this recipe for peri-peri chicken livers from the new cookery book Spice Odyssey by Cariema Isaacs, an SA foodie whose love for spices comes from her Cape Malay heritage.

Spice Odyssey features a plethora of beautifully written reicpes with family spices as well as fresh aromatics from the author’s travels to India, Turkey, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and the Middle East.

Isaacs suggests this recipe is “perfect for a light afternoon snack with grilled bruschetta, a dash of olive oil and a good rub of roasted garlic”.

It serves two.

Peri-peri chicken livers


  • 2 T (30ml) olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 T (15ml) finely minced or crushed garlic
  • 500g chicken livers, cleaned and halved
  • 1/2 t (2.5ml) salt
  • 1/2 t (2.5ml) freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 t (5ml) peri-peri powder
  • 1/2 t (2.5ml) lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 T (22.5ml) tomato paste
  • 1 T (15ml) soft brown sugar


Heat the oil in a medium size saucepan on medium to high heat. Sauté the onion for about two minutes until translucent and slightly golden.

Add the garlic and chicken livers and cook for five to seven minutes on a high heat.

Turn the heat down to medium and stir in the remaining ingredients. Cook for a further four minutes.

Taste for seasoning. You can add a dash of water if you want the dish to be saucier, which makes it perfect for dipping bread into, or live it dry, which allows you to spreak chunks of it on the grilled bruschetta.

Isaacs notes that there is no difference between peri-peri, piri-piri and even peli-peli: each is the name used in Portuguese and other African languages to describe the African bird’s-eye chilli. The spelling piri-piri is used in Portuguese.

  • Spicy Odyssey by Cariema Isaacs is published by Struik Lifestyle, an imprint of Penguin Books and retails for about R350.


Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.