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Black Recado
“Mayan Recipe"

This is a recipe of Mayan origins and since that time it was accustom to mix many spices to condiment the food . In Yucatan and in various countries in Central America it is known as recado (phonetic variation of recaudo) to a paste that results form combining different spices.

The black recado is a
condiment with smoky, strong and spicy flavor. It is mainly used to stuff chicken , pork , turkey , etc. It can also be used to season soups or to improve or enhance the flavor of different dishes like the black stuffing or the traditional chilmole.

– As it can be imagined the tonality of this recado is black and it is because the chilies are roasted until they end up totally black – it could be said that the chilies are burned instead of being roasted.

About the Recipe

  • This recipe is fairly complicated to make, as there are many interesting steps to follow.
  • To make this recipe you will need a good spice grinder.
  • In the preparation you will need achiote seeds, in case that you don’t have them they can be substituted for 1/2 tablespoon of achiote paste.
  • Be careful because in this recipe the chilies are roasted directly to the fire, almost until carbonize them, and it is possible that your house will fill of smoke.
  • Preparation time 30 minutes.
  • Recipe for 1 cup of black recado.


  • 12 Ancho Peppers (4.2 oz)
  • 1 Garlic head (2.1 oz)
  • 6 whole Allspice berries
  • 4 Cloves
  • 2 tablespoons of Oregano
  • 1 tablespoon of Achiote seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Cumin seeds
  • 1/2 cup of White Vinegar (4.2 fl oz)
  • 1/2 tablespoon of Pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon of Salt

  • Cookware

  • 1 Frying Pan
  • 1 Blender
  • 1 Spice Grinder
  • 1 Bowl
  • 1 Chopping Board
  • 1 Tongs
  • 1 Turner
  • 1 Knife

  • Directions

    Roast the Chilies

    1. Discard the seeds of 12 ancho peppers.
    2. Take with some tongs 1 of the ancho peppers with the ones you worked and roast it on the stove directly to the fire for approximately 1 minute, until all their sides are totally black; move it regularly.

    Be careful while roasting the chili because it releases a smoke, which can make you scream, cry, sneeze...

    1. Put in a bowl the chili that was roasted and reserve.
    2. Repeat the same procedure with the other 11 ancho peppers with the ones you worked.
    3. Cover the ancho peppers that were roasted with water and leave them soaking for about 10 minutes, until they recover a little consistency.

    While the Chilies Soak...

    1. Put in a frying pan over medium heat:
    • 6 whole Allspice berries.
    • 4 Cloves.
    • 1/2 teaspoon of Cumin seeds.

    1. Roast the frying pan ingredients for approximately 1 minute, until they are lightly roasted; stir regularly.
    2. Transfer from the frying pan to a spice grinder the ingredients that were roasted and reserve.

    Grind the Spices

    1. Put in the frying pan over medium heat:
    • 1 tablespoon of Achiote seeds.
    • 2 tablespoons of Oregano.

    1. Roast the frying pan ingredients for about 15 seconds, until they are lightly roasted; stir regularly.

    The spices are roasted so the black recado has more flavor.

    1. Transfer from the frying pan to the spice grinder the ingredients that were roasted.
    2. Grind very well all the spices, until having the consistency of a powder.
    3. Transfer from the spice grinder to a blender the spices that were ground, then reserve.

    Blend the Ingredients

    1. Verify that the ancho peppers that were left soaking have recovered a little consistency, if not leave them soaking for a longer time.
    2. Transfer from the bowl to the blender, with the tongs, the ancho peppers that were soaked; then set aside.
    3. Separate the garlic cloves from 1 garlic head.
    4. Peel the garlic cloves that were separated and then put them in the blender.
    5. Also add in the blender:
    • 1/2 cup of White Vinegar.
    • 1/2 tablespoon of Pepper.
    • 1/2 tablespoon of Salt.

    1. Blend very well the ingredients.

    Time to Season
    – Mexican Food –

    Variations: The black recado is the least popular of the recados because there is also the red recado and the steak recado.

    Did you like the Black Recado?

    Mexican Cookbooks.
    Mexican Food History.
    Articles about the Mexican Food.
    Index of Mexican Recipes.

    Additional Info

    To make the recado you need a good spice grinder like the KRUPS. This grinder is fast, powerful, easy to clean and the best is that it grinds uniformly.

    If you need achiote seeds these are fresh and of very good quality.

    These are the chilies that you need to prepare the recado.

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