Every home in Mexico have a just made salsa for the everyday food, my home wasn’t the exception, my dad used to make this salsa all the time, it is very tasty and if you are one of those brave persons to handle spicyness very well, this salsa is for you and if you are not very good with spicy food, you can also give it a try adding as many chillies you can handle.
The ingredient that makes this salsa special is the arbol chilli or tree chilli if we trasnlate the word. The arbol chilli is a small and potent Mexican chili pepper also known as bird’s beak chile or rat’s tail chilli.
The method we used in Mexico to make this salsa is called “Tatemar” which, according to Wikipedia, is a nahuatl origin word that means to toast something on fire, it is a method we use quite a lot in Mexico to prepare some of the most traditional dishes like, salsas, chiles rellenos, moles, etc.
Traditinally we put the vegetables on to a comal, a smooth flat griddle where we also cook tortillas or spices, but if you don’t have one, you can use a frying pan.
It is very easy to make and goes very well with tacos, burritos, beans or just as a nibble with some tortilla chips.
Prep 5 min
Cook 15 min
- 3 or 4 arbol chillies.
- 2 big tomatoes
- 1 medium onion peeled and cut in half
- 1 clove of garlic with skin on
- Salt to taste
Put the frying pan on to high heat and when it is very hot put all the vegetables on it, except the chillies.No need for oil, as we want to toast them.
Make sure to turn the vegetables around when you see black spots. When all the vegetables are ready put them aside, making sure peeling the garlic. Then start toasting the chillies for a few seconds, they will toast almost straight way, specially if your pan is very hot.
Put everything in a pestle and mortar or in a blender, add salt to taste and mash or blend until getting a nice runny consistency.
*when you are toasting the chillies make sure to have a window open or the kitchen extractor fan on, otherwise you will cough a lot.