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25 March 2020

This Mexican salsa macha recipe is the perfect condiment, made with crispy bits of toasted chili peppers, garlic, peanuts and sesame seeds in oil. Spoon it over everything!

Who is up for salsa macha? I am! If you are a salsa lover, this salsa macha recipe is everything you need for flavorful snacking or drizzling onto just about anything.

I know all of you spicy food lovers out there are going to fall in love with this salsa. While it doesn’t offer much heat, it makes up for it with a delicious savoriness that will add some zip and zing to all sorts of meals. You can, of course, up the heat factor to your own desire.

Salsa Macha Recipe

What is Salsa Macha?

Salsa Macha is salsa from Veracruz, Mexico, made with a variety of dried peppers, nuts and oil. It’s slightly spicy, nutty salsa, with a touch of tanginess, used more as a topping for dishes like quesadillas or tacos rather than a traditional salsa served with tortilla chips.

You’ll find variations of them all over Mexico in terms of ingredients and cooking method, varying from region to region and cook to cook. Crushed peanuts are traditional, though some recipes call for other nuts and even seeds. What’s great about it is not just the flavor, but the crunchy element it offers, with it’s dark sludge of crispy bits, a bit like a cross between a chili oil and a chili paste.

I offer a number of possible ingredient variations in the Recipe Notes and Tips section below.

I recently made a chili crisp recipe with more traditional Asian ingredients, and salsa is macha is actually quite similar in appearance and preparation, though with quite a different flavor. Both are outstanding.

Let’s talk about how to make salsa macha, shall we?

Salsa Macha ingredients

Salsa Macha Ingredients

  • 2 large ancho peppers
  • 2 large guajillo peppers
  • 5-6 chile de arbol peppers
  • 1/4 cup peanuts
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 2 cups olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • Salt to taste (I use 1/2 teaspoon)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano

Salsa Macha on a spoon and in a bowl

How to Make Salsa Macha – the Recipe Directions

Remove the stems and seeds from the anchos, guajillos and chiles de arbol. Chop or cut them into very small pieces, about 1/4 inch or smaller. Set them aside for now. See the recipe notes section for other peppers you can use.

Next, add the peanuts, garlic, sesame seeds and oil in a medium pot or large saucepan. Heat the pot to medium-high heat and cook for 5 minutes, or cook until the garlic starts to to crisp up and the seeds turn golden brown.

Cooking the nuts, sesame seeds and garlic cloves in the hot oil

Remove from heat and stir in the chili pepper bits. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.

Cooking down the chili peppers in the hot oil with the sesame seeds, nuts and garlic

Stir in the vinegar, salt and Mexican oregano.

Pour the mixture into a blender or food processor and pulse several times until the salsa is nicely combined. Don’t over-process the salsa macha, as you want to have nice crispy bits, not a puree.

Salsa Macha in a food processor

Serve!

That’s it, my friends! I hope you enjoy your salsa macha! It really is crazy delicious. Let me know how you wind up using yours. Send pics!

Boom! Done! Salsa macha is pretty easy to make, isn’t it? I love this stuff. It is packed with flavor!

Salsa Macha on a spoon, ready to serve

This recipe makes about 2.5 cups, though you can easily upscale it.

Recipe Notes & Tips

  • The Chili Peppers. I am using ancho chiles, guajillos and chile de arbol peppers for this recipe, though you can use other dried chiles as well. Try it out with morita peppers, chipotle peppers, pasilla peppers, puya peppers, mulato peppers or any other dried Mexican peppers. They’re all good!
  • The Nuts. Peanuts are traditionally used to make salsa macha, though the recipe is great with other nuts. Try it with pecans or almonds. Very good!
  • Other Possible Ingredients. You can other ingredients to your salsa macha pretty much to your own taste preference. Some popular options include cocoa nibs, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, shallots or onion, and chili powder, such as chipotle powder.
  • Heat Factor. Mild. Salsa macha is not traditionally a hot and spicy salsa, though you can heat things up with hotter peppers and/or spicy chili flakes. Heat levels vary depending on your choice of peppers.
  • Storing. You can store your salsa macha in the refrigerator in a sealed container. It will last 3-4 weeks.

Serving Suggestions for Salsa Macha

There are so many wonderful ways you can serve up salsa macha. The garlic and oil and all those flavorful crispy bits can used to add some punch and pizzazz to just about anything. Consider it your new wonder condiment.

Serve it on crusty bread as a dinner side or a snack. Spoon it over all of your favorite Mexican dishes like tacos or burritos, tortas, enchiladas, chorizo con huevos or huevos rancheros and so much more. I love drizzling some over pizza. So good!

Salsa Macha on a spoon

Try Some of My Other Popular Recipes

Salsa Macha, ready to serve

Got any questions? Ask away! I’m happy to help. If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.

Salsa Macha Recipe
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Salsa Macha Recipe

This Mexican salsa macha recipe is the perfect condiment, made with crispy bits of toasted chili peppers, garlic, peanuts and sesame seeds in oil. Spoon it over everything!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Course: Main Course, Salsa, sauce
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Keyword: ancho, condiment, guajillo, salsa, sauce
Servings: 10
Calories: 91kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 large ancho peppers
  • 2 large guajillo peppers
  • 5-6 chile de arbol peppers
  • 1/4 cup peanuts
  • 4 garlic cloves chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 2 cups olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • Salt to taste I use 1/2 teaspoon
  • 1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano

Instructions

  • Remove the stems and seeds from the anchos, guajillos and chiles de arbol. Chop or cut them into very small pieces, about 1/4 inch or smaller. Set them aside.
  • Add the peanuts, garlic, sesame seeds and oil in a medium pot. Heat to medium-high heat and cook for 5 minutes, or until the garlic starts to to crisp up and the seeds turn golden brown.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the chili pepper bits. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  • Stir in the vinegar, salt and Mexican oregano.
  • Pour the mixture into a blender or food processor and pulse several times until the salsa is nicely combined. Don't over-process the salsa macha, as you want to have nice crispy bits, not a puree.
  • Serve!

Notes

Makes about 2.5 cups. Serving size estimated at 1/4 cup. Nutritional values are estimated.
Heat Factor: Mild. Salsa macha is not traditionally a hot and spicy salsa, though you can heat things up with hotter peppers and/or spicy chili flakes.
Storage: You can store your salsa macha in the refrigerator in a sealed container. It will last 3-4 weeks.

Nutrition

Calories: 91kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 8mg | Potassium: 184mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 2106IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 1mg
Salsa Macha

2 comments

  1. 5 stars
    This recipe is great! The savoriness of the peppers is wonderful. Biggest challenge is chopping the dried peppers without them flying all over. Perhaps others have suggestions on better ways to do this. This is not hot, but great on tacos, pork, carne asada, etc. Also great for dipping with some warm crusty bread.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Thanks so much, Dave! Super happy you enjoyed it! Yes, SO GOOD with warm bread. Love it. For the peppers, you can try pulsing them in a food processor to give them a rough chop.






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