What’s cooking today: Mexican salsa roja

What’s cooking today: Mexican salsa roja
Mexican salsa roja. (Photo: Tony Jackman)

A straightforward Mexican salsa roja (red salsa) is easy to make. Use it as a dip or as an ingredient of a number of other Mexican dishes.

A salsa roja is cooked briefly, but not all of the ingredients. The onions in it are raw, added after the brief cooking, along with the cilantro. In case you ever wondered what that is when spotting it in American recipes, cilantro is the Mexican word for coriander leaves and is widely used in the US. Catch our recipe tomorrow which includes salsa roja.


3 or 4 large, ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped

½ of a small onion or ¼ of a large one, finely chopped

½ bunch of cilantro/ coriander leaves

1 fat garlic clove

1 habanero chilli (or 1 jalapeño)

2 Tbs olive oil



Whizz the tomatoes, onion and garlic in a blender until fairly smooth but retains some body.

Dice the onions and chop the cilantro/ coriander very finely. 

Pour the blended tomatoes, garlic and chilli into a saucepan, add a little olive oil, and bring to a boil. Season with a little salt to taste. 

Turn off the heat and stir in the chopped onion and then the coriander, retaining a bit of the latter to sprinkle on top. DM/TGIFood

Our Thank God It’s Food newsletter is sent to subscribers every Friday at 6pm, and published on the TGIFood platform on Daily Maverick. It’s all about great reads on the themes of food and life. Subscribe here.

Send your recipes to [email protected] with a hi-resolution horizontal (landscape) photo.

To enquire about Tony Jackman’s book, foodSTUFF (Human & Rousseau) please email him at [email protected]


Comments - Please in order to comment.

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted

We would like our readers to start paying for Daily Maverick...

…but we are not going to force you to. Over 10 million users come to us each month for the news. We have not put it behind a paywall because the truth should not be a luxury.

Instead we ask our readers who can afford to contribute, even a small amount each month, to do so.

If you appreciate it and want to see us keep going then please consider contributing whatever you can.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

Daily Maverick Elections Toolbox

Feeling powerless in politics?

Equip yourself with the tools you need for an informed decision this election. Get the Elections Toolbox with shareable party manifesto guide.