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Sala de Molcajete

Course Salsa, Salsa/Sauces
Cuisine Mexican



  • 6 to 8 chile serrano stems removed
  • 3 to 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 medium white onion quartered
  • 7 or 8 roma tomatoes
  • 1 poblano
  • 1 chile chilaca  or Anaheim Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon more or less of dried chile piquin
  • Juice of 2 key limes
  • Salt to taste



  • First thing you want to do is decide how you will cook your ingredients. I chose to roast and char mine in an outdoor charcoal grill. You could char on the stovetop in a pan or under the broiler.
  • Once the ingredients are cooked, you must prep them. Preparing salsa de molcajete is a process. Not one you can rush, unless you have years of practice and a big molcajete, lol!! Remove stems, skins and seeds from larger peppers. If you choose to, you can remove seeds from smaller peppers as well, it's up to you. Roughly chop the peppers, onions and tomatoes and keep them separate. This will make it easier to process them in the molcajete.
  • Start with the smaller ingredients, like the garlic and serranos. Add a little bit of kosher salt. Using the wider bottom of the tejolote or pestle, push the ingredients against the walls of the molcajete and grind down into the center. This will help break them down. Next, the spices with the larger peppers, add the lime juice. Then process the onions and tomatoes. As you grind them down, transfer them to a bowl.   Taste for salt. Place enough salsa to fill molcajete, reserve the rest. Yields about one quart of salsa. Serve with your favorite Mexican meal.