This famous Mexican avocado mash can be served as a first course with some brown toast, but is usually used as a dip – not a form of eating I particularly favour, but if you do, serve with corn chips or tortillas. Be warned: a hot chilli’s fire is contained in its seeds and pale interior spines. To temper the chilli’s pungency remove both with a sharp knife, but do not touch your face or eyes until you have washed your hands or you will be in agony


  • 2 good-sized avocados
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped or grated Spanish onion
  • 1 small hot green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 4 sprigs of fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 large tomato, deseeded and chopped
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped red onion
  • 1 tbsp lime or lemon juice


Mix the Spanish onion, chilli, half the coriander and the salt in a mortar. Pound into a paste. Scoop the avocado flesh into a bowl. Mash the flesh well, then add the paste from the mortar. Mix thoroughly, and stir in the tomato, red onion and the rest of the coriander. Sprinkle the surface with the lime or lemon juice. Cover tightly with cling film and chill until wanted. Just before serving, give it a good stir and adjust seasoning.