Roasted Tomato and Jalapeno Salsa – very HOT!
After our recent trip to Albuquerque, NM, I have fallen in love with Mexican food all over again..err New Mexican food rather! Yes, the people in New Mexico are very particular about calling their food New Mexican. The most asked question in the restaurants in Albuquerque is ‘Red or Green?’. Or you could have ‘Christmas’ which is a common term used to indicate you would have half red and half green.
Here is what wikipedia has to say about this cuisine: “New Mexican cuisine is a type of regional cuisine found in New Mexico, which originated there while it was still a part of Mexico. New Mexican chiles come in two varieties, referred to as either green chile or red chile depending on the stage of ripeness in which they were picked.
Green chile is perhaps the defining ingredient of New Mexican food compared to neighboring styles. In the past few years, green chile has grown increasingly more common outside of New Mexico, and it is a popular ingredient in everything from enchiladas and burritos to cheeseburgers, bagels and pizzas within the state’s borders.”
The famous New Mexican chile comes mostly from Hatch, NM, so famous that the chile is called ‘Hatch Chile’. The best chile we ate there was at a restaurant called La Salita, and this is my attempt to recreate that! The verdict: It was not a exactly the one we ate there, but very close and very good. The roasting process gives this the peculiar taste. I have used jalapenos here, you could also buy the long green chilies at any supermarket(I think any chili with some flesh will do. I personally like my salsa to be chunky, so I make it this way. It is a little time consuming, but if you like the salsa smooth, blend everything together in a food processor or blender.
Tomatoes – 6 medium(I used plum)
Jalapeno – 8 (use less if you like it very mild, I used 13 for a HOT salsa)
Garlic – 5-6 cloves
Lemon/Lime juice – 3-5 tbsp(adjust)
Salt – to taste
Cumin powder(roasted and ground) – 1 tsp
Cilantro/Coriander(chopped) – 1/3 cup
Onion – 1 medium
Green pepper – 1 medium(optional)
- Roast the tomatoes, jalapenos, garlic, onion and green pepper under the broiler. I broiled tomatoes for 7-8 mins each side, Jalapenos for 7-8 mins each side, Green pepper, Onion and Garlic – 3-4 mins each side.
Tip: The broiling times may vary depending on your oven. Please check the veggies from time to time and remove when they look like in the picture below.
- Cool the broiled veggies until they are good to handle. Now gently peel and deseed all the tomatoes and 4 jalapenos. The skin should come off pretty easily. Do not throw away the skin and seeds.
- Put the skins, seeds & ribs and the 4(unseeded) jalapenos into a blender. Blend into a smooth paste, using lemon juice. Do not use water.
- Chop the peeled tomatoes and jalapenos and put in a bowl. Add the paste from above step.
- Mix in salt, cumin powder, cilantro and more lemon juice if required.
- Serve with tortilla chips or pita chips or maybe idly, dosa, roti…hehehe. It really is that tasty!!