Spicy Peanut Salsa

Salsa macha is a rich and flavorful sauce originating from Orizaba and Cordoba in the state of Veracruz. Unlike many classic Mexican table sauces, this one doesn’t have any tomatoes or tomatillos in it. The base of the salsa macha is so simple and yet so delicious – toasted dried chiles, oil, garlic and salt. Sometimes roasted peanuts or or sesame seeds are added to give it a nuttier flavor. These salsas tend to be spicy, are super easy to make and last a really long time in the fridge.

This recipe comes from the cookbook Zarela’s Veracruz: Mexico’s Simplest Cuisine. I played around a little bit with the quantities of the ingredients and decided to roast the garlic, but other than that the recipe is exactly the same.Salsa macha is great to eat with meat, tacos of any kind and eggs.




  • 15 chiles de arbol
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1/3 unsalted peanuts
  • ½ cup of olive oil
  • Salt

Toast the peanuts in a pan over medium to low heat, moving regularly so as not to burn, until lightly browned. Remove from pan and let cool.

Rinse off the chiles, remove the stems and toast over lower heat until they start to darken and glisten. Remove from the pan and let cool.

In the same pan, toast the garlic with the skin on until its starts to blacken. Remove from heat.

In a blender or food processor blend the chiles, garlic and oil.

Then add the toasted peanuts and pulse until you get your preferred texture. This salsa can be chunky or more finely blended. Add salt and its ready to serve!

3 thoughts on “Spicy Peanut Salsa

  1. I made a few modifications. I used peanut or vegetable oil and I toasted the raw peanuts, chili’s and garlic in the oven at 400 degrees. The toasting was more even and required less supervision in the oven. I cut the chili’s down to 7 and it was still plenty hot. Also I used garlic salt instead of regular salt and two garlic cloves

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