Shito hot pepper sauce

Shito hot pepper sauce is a traditional condiment from Ghana. It usually contains lots of hot chilies, garlic, onions as well as dried fish and dried shrimps.

Shito (pepper) comes from the Ghanaian language called Ga which is spoken in Accra the capital of Ghana originated. Shitor din (black pepper) or the short version Shito is popular in all regions of Ghana and prepared in different variations from region to region. It is served as a spicy condiment with rice, fish, meat and vegetable dishes.

Preparation time: 20 minutes 
Cooking time: at least 2 H 30 minutes
Resting time: 0 minutes
Total time needed: at least 2 H 50 minutes
Grade of Difficulty: standard

This recipe was inspired by Nanabiba you can find the link to her recipe here

Shito hot pepper sauce

  • 5 red habanero
  • 2 cups of vegetable oil
  • 5 red cayenne peppers
  • ¼ red Carolina reaper
  • 5 medium onions, quartered
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 x 7.5 cm / 3-inch piece of fresh ginger, chopped
  • 115ml / tomato paste
  • ½ cup of ground dry eel / use herring instead if you can get it
  • ½ cup of dry ground shrimp
  • 8 cloves of garlic
  • 2 ground cloves
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 cubes of vegetable stock
  • 1/2 tbs. Maggi all purpose seasoning
  • freshly ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp cumin / jeera


  • Place a large pot on the stove, and turn the setting of the hot plate to medium 
  • Add oil, onions, garlic, ginger and chilies to the pot and cook for about 15 minutes or till the onions starting to brown
  • With a ladle or a sieve take out onion and veggie pieces from the oil and place them in a food processor.
  • Add the tomatoes to the mix and blend the vegetables till they are smooth
  • Add tomato paste to the hot oil and fry it for 3 to 4 minutes
  • Add blended vegetables to the pot and let it simmer for 15 minutes, stirring it frequently
  • Next add the ground shrimps,fish and all the seasonings and spices to the pot. Mix all ingredients well.
  • Let it  gently simmer for 15 minutes, stirring it occasionally and add salt or chili according to your taste if you feel the need
  • Cover the pot again and simmer the shito hot pepper sauce till it lost most of its moisture and has become dark brown and pasty in consistency. During this process you should stir the contents of the pot once every 15 minutes to prevent it from sticking and burning to the bottom of the pot.  
  • Let it cool down slightly and place in jars with an airtight lid.
  • They store well for up to 3 month in the fridge

We use the shito as an addition to curries, sandwiches, pastas and on many other occasions. 

Fermented hot pepper sauce

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