Macha Salsa or Salsa Macha has its origins in the state of Veracruz, Mexico. It is a crunchy, nutty chile oil made with a variety of dried chiles, nuts, garlic, fried in oil and chopped. You can tweak it to your taste.

Spice up the holidays with this exquisite salsa that is served as a condiment. Spoon it over meats, fish, chicken, veggies, frittatas. I’ve been known to eat it by the spoonfuls.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Inactive prep time: 10 minutes

Makes: About 1-1/2 cups

2 guajillo peppers (dried)
3 ancho peppers  (dried)
3 to 4 dried chile de arbol peppers (use 3 if you want a milder salsa)
1/4 cup unsalted, roasted peanuts
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1-1/2 cups high-quality vegetable oil (preferably, organic canals, sunflower or safflower oil)
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
Salt, to taste (start with 1/2 teaspoon; taste and adjust level when salsa is finished)

1. Remove seeds and stems from the guajillo, ancho peppers and chiles de arbol.

2. Using shears, cut them into small bits (1/4-inch pieces); set aside.

3. Place the peanuts, garlic and the oil in a 6 to 8-quart saucepot (this will prevent splatters). Alternatively, use a 12-inch skillet.

4. Heat the oil, peanuts and garlic to medium-high.

5. Fry the ingredients until garlic is light brown (not dark brown).

6. Immediately remove saucepot or skillet from heat; stir in the dried pepper pieces.

7. Let the mixture cool for 8 to 10 minutes.

8. After 8 to 10 minutes, stir in the vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Taste and adjust salt level, if needed.

9. Pour the mixture into a glass blender or glass food processor. DO NOT USE PLASTIC AS IT WILL PERMANENTLY STAIN.

10. Pulse-blend the mixture to achieve a crunchy, crumbly salsa – DO NOT OVERPROCESS; DO NOT PUREE.

11. Pour the salsa into a GLASS JAR WITH A COVER (mason jars work well). Tightly seal and refrigerate the salsa up to 6 weeks.
Text & Photograph ©2021 Nancy DeLucia Real