Salsa de Canela Botanera

Savory Cinnamon Salsa

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes

    2 cups

Appears in

Oaxaca: Home Cooking from the Heart of Mexico


By Bricia Lopez and Javier Cabral

Published 2019

  • About

My mom invented this salsa and it’s really unique. It was a way to give a different flavor to our everyday tomato-based dipping salsa for the table at home. It was one of the only salsas that we ate with chips as a snack because of the strong cinnamon flavor. It goes to show you how Oaxaqueños will find a way to spice up even the simplest things. Serve it as a pre-game snack. It also goes great with a cold, dark Mexican beer.


  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 4 chiles de árbol (4 g), stems and seeds removed
  • ounces (250 g) Roma tomatoes, stemmed and left whole
  • 2 slivers (4 g) of a cinnamon stick
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped white onion
  • ¼ cup (10 g) finely chopped fresh cilantro


In a comal or large cast-iron skillet over medium heat, dry-toast the garlic and chiles, mixing them well, for about 5 minutes.

Bring cups (360 ml) water to a simmer in a medium pot. Add the tomatoes and cinnamon and cook, uncovered, for about 10 minutes. Add the toasted chiles, cover, and continue cooking for another 10 minutes.

When the tomatoes have changed color and the chiles have softened, remove the tomatoes and chiles and let cool. Discard the cinnamon sticks and reserve ¼ cup (60 ml) of the cooking liquid. When the tomatoes are cool enough to handle, remove the skin with your fingers.

In a food processor, combine the skinned tomatoes, chiles, the reserved cooking liquid, garlic, and salt. Pulse until all of the ingredients are pureed and smooth.

Pour into a bowl and add the onion and cilantro. Serve with chips.