Matt's Recipe Book

Salsa macha

Prep time5 minutes
Cooking time40 minutes

Salsa Macha is very distinctive Mexican sauce made from toasted chillies, peanuts, and oil ground into a fine paste. It's extremely savoury and satisfying, and useful for things like tacos, nachos, huevos rancheros etc.

You can sub out the chillies for whatever you can get access to really – anything like chipotle peppers or other "workhorse chillies" will be great.


  • Saucepan
  • Food processor


  • 2 large dried Ancho chillies
  • 2 large dried Guajillo (or similar) chillies
  • 5 -6s dried chile de árbol (or similar)
  • 50g peanuts
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 250ml light olive, sunflower, or vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp apple cider or white wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp oregano (or mexican oregano, if possible)


  1. The basic idea is to toast the chillies by frying them in the oil, then blending he whole lot. Start by removing any stems and seeds from the chillies, then chop them into small pieces (about 1cm).
  2. Add the peanuts, garlic, sesame seeds and the oil to the saucepan, then heat over medium-high – cook for a few minutes until the garlic is starting to crisp up but not burn.
  3. Add the chillies, then remove from the heat and leave to toast while cooling for 10 minutes.
  4. Stir in the vinegar, sugar, salt, and oregano and leave until cool enough to process further.
  5. Add to a food processor and pules until combined. You're not aiming to over-process it – you want crispy bits of nuts and chilli rather than a puree.
  6. Jar and keep in the fridge, using as needed.