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 Chiltomate might be the original tomato based salsa

One of the sauces used by early Mayans, Chiltomate boasts a complex taste. Also, it is very simple to prepare.

Read: Mayan History

Start with our basic recipe and adjust to your own preference.

We recommend using a food processor to process the sauce into a thick, chunky consistency. However, If you prefer, you may use a blender but the resulting sauce may be thinner. 

Notes about this recipe

  • This is a very simple recipe that requires about 7 minutes preparation time.
  • You may omit the fresh coriander sprigs, but they add depth to the flavors.
  • Habanero peppers are very spicy. We start with one pepper. However, if you like spice, add another.
  • Habanero’s rate 100,000 to 350,000 Scoville units, Use care when handling them! (see note below)
  • Yields about 2 cups of salsa.

Chiltomate Salsa Uses

  • enchiladas
  • huevos rancheros
  • papadzules
  • pac chuc


  • 1 Habanero Pepper
  • 4 Tomatoes
  • 1 medium Onion
  • 1 Clove garlic
  • 10 Coriander sprigs
  • 1/4 tablespoon of Salt


  • Chop peppers and onions.
  • Mince garlic
  • In a dry skillet or on a griddle, roast onions and garlic about 2 minutes.
  • Add peppers and tomatoes and continue roasting about 2 minutes, until lightly roasted
  • Put roasted vegetables in a food processor
  • Add coriander and salt
  • Pulse lightly to a thick, chunky consistency.
  • You may use a blender, but blend very lightly

NOTE:  Hot Peppers, such as Habanero Peppers, contain oils that can burn your skin and eyes. 

  • When working with them, avoid direct contact as much as possible.
  • Additionally, you might use food handling gloves.
  • Moreover, If you choose to use bare hands, wash your hands, including nails, well with soap and water.
  • Also, avoid touching your face, especially near your eyes.
  • However, if you do get oils in your eyes, flush with cool water.
  • Also, oils from the peppers will transfer to knives, cutting boards, and other surfaces. Wash all with hot, soapy water after each use, to avoid transferring to other food and surfaces.

Ideas for Serving to a crowd.

While some people love the spicy kick of the habanero, others do not. Consider making two versions. Additionally, you might offer less salsa to those preferring a mild dish.

To ensure this sauce has the desired texture, prepare in small batches. You might double this recipe with success. However, we suggest that larger amounts be done in batches.

This sauce is a blend of fruity and spicy flavors. However, you might adjust the balance to strengthen one over the other.

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