Spicy, crunchy and packed with flavor, this Mexican chili oil aka Salsa Macha is an addictive condiment that’s sure to become your next favorite.
Think of it as an upgraded version of a chilli crisp with beautiful smoky flavors.
Spoon it over your quesadillas and other Mexican dishes and take them to the next level.
I’ve recently been experimenting with a lot of Mexican cooking, specifically salsas and condiments.
Inspired by just that, I decided to try my hands at something a bit unique, and that’s when I recreated this incredible chili oil with its roots in Veracruz.
- What's So Great About the Recipe?
- Ingredients For the Mexican Chili Oil Recipe
- How to Make Salsa Macha
- Substitutions & Variations
- 💭Top Tip
- How to Store the Mexican Chili Oil
- Tips & Tricks to Nail the Salsa Macha Recipe
- How to Use Mexican Salsa Macha
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Related Recipes
- Mexican Chili Oil (Salsa Macha)
- Food Safety
What's So Great About the Recipe?
My favorite part about this homemade Salsa Macha is the fact that it is actually so much more than just another versatile condiment.
It packs in the kick of heat from the dried chiles, the crispy texture from the nuts and the savory, umami flavors from the garlic.
Ingredients For the Mexican Chili Oil Recipe
To make the homemade Mexican chili oil, here’s all you’ll need.
Peanuts: Peanuts are what make up the crunchy base of this flavor packed chili oil. Use the ones with their skin removed.
Sesame seeds: Sesame seeds add another layer of flavor and a slight crunch factor to the salsa.
Garlic: I also added some garlic to bring that beautiful pungent and umami flavor to the chili oil.
Dried chilies: Use any kind of Mexican chili peppers you can get your hands on. Ideally, use 2-3 different varieties to get a nice blend of flavors. Chile de árbol, ancho chilies and Guajillo chilies are the best choices.
Apple cider vinegar: With its fruity tanginess, apple cider vinegar balances the heat from the chilies beautifully.
Oil: You’ll also need plenty of oil to cook the garlic and chili in.
Seasonings: I kept the seasonings simple and used some salt and brown sugar.
See recipe card for quantities.
Also Read: Avocado Pico de Gallo
How to Make Salsa Macha
Once you have all the ingredients ready, here’s what you’ll need to do to make the spicy chili oil.
Set a medium saucepan or skillet on medium heat and dry roast the sesame seeds and peanuts until they turn aromatic. Remove and set aside.
In the same pan, add the oil and garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes over medium-low heat. Turn off the heat and add the Mexican Chile peppers.
Add the peanuts & sesame seeds and give it a good mix
Add this to the blender along with all the other ingredients. Blend until you get a slightly coarse and chunky paste.
Serve and enjoy!
Substitutions & Variations
- I used apple cider vinegar to bring a bit of fruitiness and tanginess to the Salsa Macha. If you want to, you could totally stick to using the white vinegar instead.
- If you don’t have Chile de Arbol, you could use almost any other kind of dried chilies of your choice.
- Want your Salsa Macha to have a slightly darker color? Use Chile Morita, which is essentially dried, smoked jalapeno chillies.
- Mexican oregano is another great addition to this spicy chili oil. Add it if you have it at hand.
Remember to heat the oil well before you add in the garlic. The idea is to get the fried garlic to turn slightly golden brown which lends a beautiful smoky flavor to the salsa macha.
- Non Stick Frying Pan
- Stainless Steel Frying Pan
- Cast Iron Skillet
- Mixing Bowls
- Food Processor
- Mason Jars
- Serving Spoons
Also Read: Mexican Grilled Onions
How to Store the Mexican Chili Oil
Allow the Mexican chili oil to get to room temperature, transfer it to an airtight container or a glass jar and then refrigerate it for up to 10 days, if not more.
Tips & Tricks to Nail the Salsa Macha Recipe
- Regardless of the kind of chili peppers you’re using for this recipe, remember to remove the stems and seeds before you add them to the oil.
- I would recommend you remove the seeds to retain the actual flavor and essence of the chillies.
- You can use any kind of cooking oil for this recipe. Vegetable oil, sunflower oil, canola oil, olive oil and avocado oil all work just fine.
- Make sure you don’t over process the ingredients. The idea is to leave it a bit chunky to get that perfect chili crunch as opposed to turning it into some sort of a chili paste.
- Remember to keep the heat low, especially when you add in the peppers and garlic. High heat can burn the ingredients and ruin the flavor of the chili oil.
Also Read: Tajin Nuts
How to Use Mexican Salsa Macha
Salsa macha isn’t actually like the traditional Mexican salsas that you’d serve with tortilla chips and nachos.
It is actually a versatile condiment that you can spoon over your favorite dishes that need a bit of extra savory and zippy flavor.
I personally love the nutty flavors of this Mexican chili oil drizzled over my bowl of hot soup.
The heat from the dried chili peppers, the bright red oil and the savory deliciousness is just unmatched.
As a Drizzle
You can also use the Salsa Macha as a teammate to your Authentic Mexican foods. I always drizzle it over my Mexican broccoli when I need that extra kick of spice, on my Elote casserole and even over my watermelon with Tajin.
I also think it would taste amazing when topped on some avocado toast or when spooned over breakfast eggs.
As a Condiment
Frequently Asked Questions
While peanuts and sesame seeds are the perfect choice for this recipe, you can also experiment with other nuts and seeds to bring in some variation.
Sunflower seeds, cashews and almonds are all good choices.
You can adjust the heat level and make a milder Salsa Macha by using any mild chili of your choice. You can also reduce the amount of chilies you’re adding, and add more garlic and shallots to balance out the vinegar and salt in the recipe.
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
Mexican Chili Oil (Salsa Macha)
- ½ cup peanuts
- 2 oz sesame seeds
- 2-3 garlic
- 1 ½ cup oil
- 1 oz guajilo chile peppers
- 1 oz dried chiles de arbol
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Set a medium saucepan or skillet on medium heat and dry roast the sesame seeds and peanuts until they turn aromatic. Remove and set aside.
- In the same pan, add the oil and garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes over medium-low heat.
- Turn off the heat and add the Mexican chile peppers.
- Add this to the blender along with all the other ingredients.
- Blend until you get a slightly coarse and chunky paste.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove
See more guidelines at USDA.gov.Mexican Chili Oil (Salsa Macha)