Sos Ti-Malis: Haitian Sauce Ti-Malice

Haitian Sauce Ti-Malice with peppers

History and Background

We covered some good history for Haiti on the Manman poul ak nwa: Haitian Cashew Chicken  posting, so head over there to get the lowdown on the culinary history of Haiti.

Sos Ti-Malis

Sos Ti-Malis is a flavorful Haitian sauce served warm over meat, fish, and rice dishes.  It is also commonly used within recipes as well.  Flavorful without being too spicy, Sos Ti-Malis has mild bell peppers, tomato paste and a variety of alliums (onions, shallot, and garlic).  It has just a hint of spice coming from vinegar drawn off Pikliz.

The story: a folktale

There is an old Hiaitan folktale that helps to explain where the name comes from.  Legend has it that two men, Bouki and Ti-Malice were good friends.  Bouki, while kind hearted, was a bit of a freeloader and was very gullible.  He always showed up at Ti-Malice’s house around lunch and took advantage of the kindness Haitians have.  Being of a giving nature, they always offer what they have to their guests.  And so, Ti-Malice was always compelled to share his lunch of tasty meat with Bouki.

Ti-Malice being a bit of a trickster wanted to scare off Bouki from coming every day. One day, he made a very hot sauce and covered the meat in his spicy sauce.  However, the trickster’s plan backfired when Bouki loved it and told everyone in town to come try the sauce Ti-Malice made for him!

This is not the first time a plan to sabotage a meal with hot sauce backfired.  This story is a lot like the legend of the origin of Prince’s Hot Chicken – check it out!

Haitian Sauce Ti-Malice with peppers

Our smooth take on the sauce

We made this recipe a few times and liked a blended version best.  The original from A Taste of Haiti by Mirta Yurnet-Thomas, was good, but wasn’t thoroughly tested.  It was thick, chunky and missing things like enough liquid to make a sauce with, so we added water.  Also, we settled on a version that we pureed with a blender.  Both traditional and immersion blenders work great.  We’d love to blend ours in a Vitamix or a Blendtec when we have a chance someday.

You’ll find when you taste the sauce that it is very mild.  There is just a hint of spice from the pikliz vinegar, but it’s not much.  For a spicier recipe, simply add a Scotch bonnet or habañero pepper.

Sos Ti-Malis: Haitian Sauce Ti-Malice

Sos Ti-Malis: Haitian Sauce Ti-Malice

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Sos Ti-Malis: Haitian Sauce Ti-Malice


30 minutes
2 cups
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 shallots
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, sliced thinly
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, sliced thinly
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1.5 cups water
  • ½-1 tsp salt (to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2-3 tablespoons vinegar from pikliz
  • Juice from ½ lime (about one tablespoon)


10 minutes
20 minutes
Ready in
30 minutes
  1. Over medium-high heat in a medium saucepan, saute onion, shallots, and peppers in olive oil until they begin to soften, about 4 minutes.
  2. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 30-60 seconds.
  3. Add tomato paste, stir until color deepens slightly, about 1 minute.
  4. Add water, salt pepper, vinegar and lime juice.
  5. Bring to a simmer over high heat. Simmer until sauce is reduced by about 1/3rd, about 15 minutes.
  6. Blend with immersion blender (or standard blender)
  7. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
  8. Serve warm with Manman poul ak nwa: Haitian Cashew Chicken

Tried this recipe?  Let us know what you think about it in the comments below!

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