Salsa Macha

Salsa macha is a spicy condiment originating from Mexico’s Veracruz region, primarily made with dried chili peppers and nuts or seeds. Although you may find slight variations across Mexico, this recipe has straightforward simplicity and easy-to-find ingredients. Using dried chipotles provides an intense heat to the salsa. You can enjoy it as a dip for chips, add it to grilled fish, or even stir it into other salsas, guacamole, and stews. I even use it on eggs and pizza.


  • 1 1/2 cups light olive oil or grapeseed oil
  • 1/2 cup pistachios or peanuts
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
  • 3 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon salted pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup (about 8 cloves) garlic, peeled
  • 2 Morita or chipotle chiles
  • 1-2 Arbol chilies, stemmed and seeded
  • 5 medium Guajillo chilies, (sub Ancho chilies) stemmed and seeded, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup water


  1. Crush the nuts.
  2. Toast the nuts in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, then set aside.
  3. In the same medium saucepan, add the oil and garlic. Cook gently, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is just softening, about 8 minutes, depending on the temperature of your oil.
  4. Add the chilies, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds to the oil, and stir until they release a toasty aroma – about a minute or two. Do not overcook the chilies as it will make for a bitter salsa!
  5. Add the water, salt, and lime juice. Stir for a minute or so, then remove from heat and let cool.
  6. Using an immersion blender, pulse the mixture until the chilies and garlic are in small pieces. Then, add the crushed nuts.
  7. Scrape the salsa into a jar with a tight-fitting lid, and store in the refrigerator.

An additional benefit is that once the container is emptied, you can use the leftover oil to fry your eggs.