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Aji Panca Vs. Aji Amarillo

Chili peppers are core to so many cuisines, and they could be used in all sorts of preparations including regional dishes.

These peppers originate from South America, and the continent boasts of more than a hundred different varieties of chili pepper varieties.

Some chili peppers are more popular than others in certain regions, and in the South American nation of Peru, no other chili pepper is as widely used as aji amarillo and aji panca. 

Both peppers are important ingredients in Peruvian cooking.

Although Aji panca is closely related to aji amarillo, these two peruvian chili peppers are quite different and they are also used differently.

To find out the difference between these two chili pepper, continue reading. 

Difference Between aji panca and aji amarillo

Both aji panca and aji amarillo are capsicum peppers with slightly similar shapes.

However, aji panca has a low heat and is used in dishes mainly for its sweet flavor, while aji amarillo has a medium to high range heat, and adds not only flavor but also heat to dishes.

Aji amarillo is also larger in size compared to aji panca. It also has a yellow or orange color while aji panca has a deep red color when fully ripe.

What is aji panca?

aji panca pepper

Aji panca is also known as Peruvian red pepper  

It is a variety of Capsicum chinense commonly grown in Peru. It is used to flavor many dishes in traditional Peruvian cuisine.

Grown near the coast, this pepper is often available dried or as a paste.

Aji panca is used to make stews and sauces. It can also be used as a marinade before roasting or grilling meat.

Popular Peruvian dishes such as “adobo de cerdo” are made with this chili pepper. It is also used for seasoning anticuchos. 

Aji panca has a low heat; bout 1000 SHU on the Scoville heat scale. It is used mainly for its flavor and color.

This pepper has a thick flesh. It is About 12cm long and up to 4cm across.

Aji panca is deep red when ripe. It has fruity notes and a slightly smoky flavor.

What is aji amarillo?

Aji amarillo pepper

Aji amarillo is also a member of capsicum baccatum that grown in Peru. Aji is a Spanish word that means chili pepper and amarillo means yellow 

This chili pepper grows well in warm climates.

Along with garlic and red onion, the aji Amarillo is a core ingredient in Peruvian cuisine  

It is yellow when immature and bright orange when it matures, although they turn yellowish when they are cooked. 

This pepper has a thick flesh and reaches lengths of about 6 inches with a width of around 1 inches. 

It has a smooth texture which is slightly rippled, and it is wide at the stem end while the other end is a rounded taper

Aji amarillo is also of Medium to high heat; it is Between 30,000 to 50,000 SHU.

It also has bit of fruity flavor which it adds to dishes that they are used with

Aji amarillo has a similar flavor to sweet bell peppers but with more heat. 

This pepper is used in sauces and also ceviche.

It can be found in many popular Peruvian dishes such as causa rellena; a dish of mashed potatoes with tuna salad and avocado.

Aji amarillo adds spiciness, flavor and color to dish they are used with 

The dried peppers could be used as chili powder or as a rub to marinate meats.


These peppers can be found in Peruvian grocery stores fresh or frozen, they are also available as dried peppers or as a chili paste.

Aji amarillo is very spicy, to reduce the heat of the heat of aji amarillo, core the chili pepper to remove the innards.