Salsa Roja de Morita

Smoky Morita 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

This is my go-to salsa to whip up if I want to impress somebody. I remember being at a friend’s party and being so blown away by it that I grabbed an empty bottle and took some home with me because it was that amazing. It’s a showstopper and once people taste it, they will think you are the best salsa maker in the world. The secret ingredient is the morita chile, which is a fiercer variation on a smoked jalapeño than a chipotle.


  • 6 morita chiles (12 g)
  • 3 guajillo chiles (15 g), stems and seeds removed
  • 6 cloves garlic (12 g), peeled
  • 1 pound (455 g) tomatillos, husked and rinsed
  • Sea salt


In a comal or large cast-iron skillet over medium heat, combine both kinds of chiles with the garlic, mixing well, and toast the chiles for 30 seconds to a minute, and garlic for about 5 minutes.

In a medium pot over medium heat, combine ¼ cup (60 ml) of water and the tomatillos. Cook for 15 minutes or until the tomatillos start to pop. The tomatillos will release a lot of liquid.

Meanwhile, bring 2 cups (480 ml) of water to a boil. Once boiling, turn off the heat and add the chiles. Let soak for 30 minutes. When softened, remove the chiles from the water and reserve their soaking liquid.

In a blender, combine the garlic, tomatillos, and, using a slotted spoon, the chiles. Blend in pulses until roughly smooth and add salt to taste.