Salsa Macha: peanut, sesame seeds, and red chile salsa

Salsa macha is a delicious and somewhat spicy sauce that absolutely goes perfectly with everything. Originally from the state of Veracruz, this is a delicious salsa prepared from dried chiles, fried in oil, with garlic and ingredients that give this a unique flavor: sesame seeds and peanuts. Its unique name comes from the verb "machacar" for its original preparation being mashed in a molcajete.

In Mexico—and little by little around the world—salsa macha has reached so much demand and become so popular that it is sold in various versions in supermarkets. It is also very common for it to be offered as a table sauce in local restaurants. This is because It is a very versatile sauce, used to accompany pozoles, tacos, seafood, quesadillas, and even with snacks like chips. If you like Chinese food, this sauce is very similar to Sichuan cuisine chili oil. As a personal preference, we are obsessed with this salsa during breakfasts as, with only a few drops of its oil, it adds a unique flavor to eggs, tostadas, sandwiches, and even avocado toasts *chef’s kiss!*

This salsa macha is extremely easy to make and will become a lifesaver when trying to impress anyone. Plus, it stays fresh for weeks without the need for refrigeration because it is made with oils and dried chiles, which do last quite a while. Join us in making this delicious salsa and adding another Mexican delicacy to your repertoire:

1 cup of dried chiles. We like to use a combination of chile de arbol, chile guajillo, and sometimes chipotle to have a variety of flavor present, but you can use any dried chile you like.
1 cup of canola oil
3 tbs of sesame seeds
3-4 tbs of natural, unsalted peanuts
4 garlic cloves
Salt to taste 

How to make salsa macha:

Start by removing the stem from the chiles. Some people like to prepare the sauce without the seed, which is a personal taste, but if you’d like to remove the seeds now is the time to do so by cutting the chile in half and shaking it hard so that all seed fall.

Toast all ingredients. Using a large pan, heat some oil in medium heat. Place the chiles and lightly fry them using quick movements to prevent them from burning. If the chiles burn, your sauce will have a bitter taste. Separately, continue with the sesame seeds and then the peanuts until they have a light golden color. You don't need oil for these last steps, but if you feel more comfortable you can use a little. Finally toast the garlic. You can do it with its skin on and remove it later or remove it before, it really depends on your preference. 

Crush and blend (molcajetear) the ingredients.
With Molcajete: Place the garlic and salt in the molcajete, grind finely and add the chiles until you see a texture made of fine pieces of chile incorporated with the garlic and salt. 

With a blender/food processor: Process for a few seconds just to crush the chiles together with the garlic and salt. Add a little of the oil to cover the mixture if necessary to help them incorporate and reach a paste like texture.

Once the chili is crushed and incorporated with the garlic and salt, in a deep ceramic or glass dish (or in the container where you are going to store the sauce) add the toasted sesame seeds and peanuts to the mixture to add the oil.

Heat some oil. In a small saucepan, heat the oil that was not used to toast the chiles. Once it is hot, remove it from the heat and add to the mixture, incorporating all the ingredients with a spoon. Once covered, the mixture is ready to use.

This sauce tastes better the next day or days after it is made. Having a full oil base that will turn red from the chili, we recommend using glass or ceramic containers, so you don't permanently stain the plastic ones. If you are looking for some stunning salsa bowls to display your salsa macha, you know we have a wide selection of tabletops and kitchenware right here!


So, what do you think? Do you think you will be making this salsa any time soon? Have you tried it? What is your favorite way to have it? We always love hearing from you! Don’t forget to let us know if you’d like for us to publish any recipes or any other content, we love writing about thing you want to read!

Mexican food & authentic recipes

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