Salsa Molcajeteada with Bird Peppers

 Salsa Molcajeteada1
Salsa Molcajeteada means that the salsa is prepared and (most of the times) served in the Molcajete (Lava rock Mortar). The tomatoes and peppers, as well as some other of the salsa’s ingredients, will be grinded in the Molcajete. Some people like to roast the ingredients before using them in the salsa, while others like to boil them. Personally, I prefer to roast the peppers, tomatoes, and garlic when making this salsa. The pepper used in this recipe is a small pepper, from a variety that changes slightly from region to region, and is known by several names across the country. I know it as “Chile de Monte”, which means “field pepper”. It grows in the northern parts of Mexico, but similar peppers grow in the central and southern parts of the country, such as the Amashito, Piquin, Chiltepin, and Petin peppers. Although it is a small plant (around half a meter tall), it can grow peppers all year-round when in a good environment. This pepper is considered to be hotter than jalapeño peppers, and is usually eaten raw, although it can also be found in pickled form.

This salsa goes great with almost anything, from fried fish to grilled meats, roasted chicken, and tacos.
Salsa Molcajeteada3a
  • 2 tomatoes, medium size
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 12 bird peppers
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro or 1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • 1/3 cup white onion, finely chopped
  • salt to taste

Salsa Molcajeteada1b NOTE: The picture with the red jalapeno peppers and the bird peppers is only for size comparison, I did not use jalapenos in this recipe, but you can use serrano peppers or jalapenos peppers if you want to.

1. Roast the tomatoes and garlic clove over medium heat on a griddle, turning or flipping to have an even roast and until tomatoes are slightly soft. You will have to remove the garlic early, since it roasts quickly. We are not roasting the peppers in this recipe, but if you are using other peppers, like serranos or jalapenos it is common to roast them as well.

2. While you are roasting the tomatoes and the garlic, place your bird peppers in the mortar and gently grind them using the mortar stone until they are well grinded.

3. Peel the roasted garlic and grind in the mortar with the peppers. Once tomatoes are roasted and soft, grind them on the mortar one by one.

Salsa Molcajeteada9a
4. You can use a spoon to mix all the salsa ingredients together. Season with salt. If the salsa seems too thick for your personal taste, add a couple of tablespoons of water. Just before serving, stir in the chopped onion and cilantro.




  1. This is divine and oh so very fresh. Thanks for sharing.


  2. these birds peppers must be pretty hot!!


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