Tag Archives: chiles

Salsa Macha

salsa macha

Salsa Macha

This salsa is from the state of Veracruz on the Gulf of Mexico, a gateway for immigrants since the 16th century. In fact, this is where Hernan Cortes landed in 1519 and this is also where African slaves arrived in Mexico to work on sugar plantations, gold and silver mines, or to become domestic servants in Mexico City.

Africans introduced, among other foods, their native sesame seeds and peanuts, which are native to Brazil but brought into Mexico via African slave ships. 

Salsa Macha is a marriage of Mexican chiles with African sesame seeds and Spanish olive oil. True fusion cuisine, which is what Mexican food is. 

This sauce is amazing on eggs, steak, or just plain baguette. FYI: Macha is the feminine version of the word macho. If you’re a woman and you grow hairs on your chest after eating it, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

3 ounces combination of dried morita and guajillo chiles
2 1/2 cups olive oil
1/3 cup roasted and salted peanuts
5 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
3 tablespoons roated sesame seeds
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
2 tablespoons piloncillo or brown sugar
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Stem the chilies, then break or cut them open and remove the seeds. Tear into pieces and set aside.

Set a saucepan over medium-high heat and add the oil. Once the oil is hot, but not smoking, add the garlic cloves. Stir and fry for one to two minutes, until they start to gain color.

Add the chiles, peanuts, and sesame seeds fry for about two minutes. Remove from heat. Let cool then carefully transfer all the contents from the saucepan into a blender.

In a small bowl, mix the vinegar, salt and brown sugar, then add to the blender. Process until everything is chopped into finely chopped, but not pureed. Pour into a jar and refrigerate until ready to use.

Makes about 3 cups

Adapted from Pati’s Mexican Table




The dish has its roots in ceremonial pre-Hispanic Mexico and was mentioned in Friar Bernardino de Sahagun’s General History of all the Things of New Spain ca 1500. The original version was made with human flesh. What? Yes. Read about it here.

3 pounds chicken combination breasts, legs and thighs
1 head garlic, peeled
1 large white onion, quartered
handful dried oregano
5 dried ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded
5 dried pasilla or guajillo chiles, stemmed and seeded
4 cups hominy, rinsed and drained

4 limes, cut into wedges
6 cups thinly sliced lettuce
15 radishes, thinly sliced
1 avocado, diced
6 tablespoons dried Mexican oregano

Bring the chicken with enough water to cover to a boil in a large pot, skimming froth, then reduce heat to a simmer. Add 2 tablespoons salt, onion, garlic and oregano. Partially cover and simmer over medium-low heat until the meat is tender. Remove the meat from the broth, let cool, shred and set aside.

Strain broth and return to the pot. Transfer the cooked onion and garlic to a blender with 1 ½ cups of the broth. Puree until smooth and add to broth.

While the meat is cooking, stem and seed the chiles and rehydrate them in enough hot water to cover – keeping them submerged – for about 20 minutes. Puree the chiles with 1 ½ cup water.

Add the pureed chiles, shredded meat and hominy to the broth and simmer for about 5 minutes. Taste, adjust seasoning and serve hot with tostadas, shredded lettuce, radishes, oregano and lime wedges.

Serves 8 to 10