This entry is also available in: Español
Chile de arbol salsa is a mexican chilli oil very popular in my country. This sauce is extra spicy and the flavour is intense. I love it and try to have a jar of this sauce always available at home.
My grandma Julia used to make this sauce in a molcajete (mortar). She will fry all ingredients in an enamel saucepan, over the home open fire . Then she will pestle everything slowly, until a thick and extremely spicy sauce come out.
My mom loved this sauce and because of that, my grandma made always some extra jars and place them under the bed, which was the most cold, dry and dark place on her house.
There, the jars will wait until we went to my granny’s house for Christmas and taking them back home with us.
Is this salsa macha?
Even though it can recall a lot of salsa macha, true is there are some differences between those sauces.
Salsa macha is made using chile morita or chipotle, since those two are pretty common in the state where salsa macha is from. Also, the recipe uses peanuts, which I didn’t add to my recipe.
Because of that and because I like to respect my own traditions, I didn’t call this recipe as salsa macha. I promise I’ll post a recipe for that sauce; but for now, I’ll just leave you this family recipe as my grandma used to make it.
I don’t remember exactly the ingredients my grandma Julia used. But I do, somehow, remember my mom’s because she also made this sauce several times at home and I am pretty sure, the vinegar is a twist she did to her mom’s recipe…and I love it!
chile de arbol substitute
So, in case you want to make this sauce and you can’t find chile de árbol. Here are a few options:
- Dry chinese or thai chillies.
- Dried serrano.
- Red dry new mexican chiles.
- Chillies Tepin/Piquin
- Cayenne red hot chillies
- Hot pepper flakes
Chile de árbol sauce recipe
CHILE DE ÁRBOL. This is the main ingredient but it can also be substituted with other types of chillies.
SESAME SEEDS. Helps to give some texture to the sauce and to balance spiciness.
GARLIC. Be very careful when frying the garlic. If you burn it will become bitter and spoil the recipe.
VINAGER. Just a little bit. It doesn’t have to taste or smell sour, you just need it for preserving the sauce.
OIL. A type that doesn’t compromise the sauce’s flavour. So avoid strong oil like extravirgin olive oil, coconut oil, etc.
SALT. Any kind you’ll have on hand. I used coarse salt.
Remove the stems of chilli peppers. Peel the garlic and slice it. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan put half a cup of oil and heat over low heat. Fry the garlic paying attention that the stove flame is not too high or it could burn the garlic and make it bitter.
The garlic should be evenly golden so frying for a minute will be enough. Keep always the heat controlled and mix constantly. Place in a blender together with the oil you used.
Add another half a cup of oil to the saucepan and heat over low heat. Fry the chilies for a minute until they are crispy. Pay attention since the chilies should not be burned so it is important to keep the flame low and mix constantly.
Place them in the blender together with the oil where they were fried.
Add to the blender the sesame seeds, salt, and a tablespoon of vinegar.
Blend for 2-3 minutes depending on how you’ll like the consistency of the sauce. Pour the sauce into a jar and add a good drizzle of oil on top.
Chile de arbol salsa (mexican chilli oil)
- 70 gr chile de arbol or other dry, red hot chilli peppers
- 15 gr sesame seeds toasted
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 tbsp vinegar
- Corn oil
- 1/2 tbsp salt
- Remove the stems of chilli peppers. Peel the garlic and slice it. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan put half a cup of oil and heat over low heat. Fry the garlic until golden and crispy (about 1 min).
- Place in a blender together with the oil you used.
- Add another half a cup of oil to the saucepan and heat over low heat. Fry the chilies for a minute until they are crispy. (see notes)
- Place them in the blender together with the oil where they were fried.
- Add to the blender the sesame seeds, salt, and a tablespoon of vinegar.
- Blend for 2-3 minutes depending on how you’ll like the consistency of the sauce.
- Pour the sauce into a jar and add a good drizzle of oil on top.