I despise (most) chain restaurants and I make no secret of it. Recipes created far away (and, even worse, dishes that are reheated) and “chefs” cooking to a manual, together with a sterile and predictable atmosphere just don’t do it for me.

That said, there is a certain charm about Nando’s. I think the charm comes, largely, from chargrilled meat in plentiful quantities rather than anything else. Restaurant kitchens (even chains) can create a good chargrill, because of their industrial equipment, far better than we can at home.

But anyway, this is how I recreate the piri-piri flavour at home – obviously, you can vary the quantities accordingly to your tastes.

Makes enough to cover two flattened chicken breasts. It will also work better if you generally stab and slash the meat first so the flavours can work their way in!

  • 1.5 tsps paprika
  • 1 tsp dried oregano (or Italian mixed herbs)
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 0.5 tsp salt
  • 0.5 tsp cayenne pepper

Mix all together and apply generously to meat ready rubbed with a little oil, leaving for a minimum of 4 hours. The chicken is then best cooked over a charcoal barbeque or on a griddle.

Piri-Piri Rub
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