Salsa Smithadillo


Making your own salsa is not difficult and the result is miles better than any salsa you can buy in the shops. The tomatoes and chiles in my recipe are roasted first under the grill (broiler) and then blended with the other ingredients to make a rich flavoured, fresh tasting salsa.


  • 5 ripe red tomatoes
  • 3 green Kenyan (Fresno) chiles, halved lengthways - stalks, veins and seeds removed.
  • Half teaspoon ground, dry roasted cumin seed (see method)
  • 1 shallot or 2 spring onions (scallions) - finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh coriander (cilantro) leaf
  • Salt to taste
  • A little tomato purée
  1. Cut the tomatoes in half down through the stalk end. Put the tomato halves, skin side up, under a hot grill (broiller) and grill until the skins blacken. Put on a plate to cool a little then remove the skins. Now remove the seeds and pulp and keep the tomato flesh.
  2. Grill (broil) the halved chiles, skin side up, until the skins begin to blacken and blister. Put immediately into a plastic bag and seal. Leave for 10 minutes then remove chiles from the bag and peel off the skins. Chop the chiles into small pieces.
  3. Sprinkle some whole cumin seeds into a cast iron frying pan which has been heated over a medium heat. Move the seeds around in the pan until they darken a little and you get a wonderful fragrant smell coming out of the pan. Tip out the seeds onto a plate to cool. When the seeds are cool, grind finely in a pestle and mortar or electric grinder. Use half a teaspoon of the ground cumin.
  4. Add all the ingedients to a blender and whizz for a short while. Do not overdo it. The end result should have a chunky texture and not be a purée.
  5. If the tomatoes were watery (as most shop-bought ones tend to be - grow your own!!) add a little tomato purée to thicken but the salsa does thicken anyway in the fridge.
  6. Cover and refrigerate for an hour before using. Then watch how fast the salsa gets eaten !!


© copyright David Smith 1996-2002

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