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Catarina Salsa

Among the many varieties of dried chilies that exist in Mexico, we have the catarina pepper. It has a very particular shape that can get confused with the cascabel pepper – it belong to the same species and they slightly differ in taste. The curious thing is that both the catarina pepper and the cascabel pepper produce the sound of a sleigh bell when shaken.

The catarina pepper is produced in the regions of Aguascalientes and Zacatecas. In this recipe the catarina is combined with tomato, onion and other few ingredients to obtain
a salsa that is light, easy to prepare and moderately spicy .

This salsa is very practical because it can be used in some
tacos or it can also be used to put to pork ribs or even a pork leg torta.

About the Recipe

  • Although in this salsa you are going to roast, blend and cook; is very easy to make.
  • Since the catarina pepper is quite similar to the cascabel pepper... the salsa could be prepared with cascabel pepper. But then what is the purpose of having the catarina salsa.
  • We recommend using olive oil in the preparation, it will give a better flavor to the salsa.
  • The preparation time is of about 15 minutes.
  • The recipe is for 2 cups.


  • 3 Catarina Peppers (.5 oz)
  • 2 Tomatoes (14.1 oz)
  • 1/4 of an Onion (1.2 oz)
  • 2 Garlic cloves (.2 oz)
  • 2 tablespoons of Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon of Salt

  • Cookware

  • 1 Saucepan
  • 1 Griddle
  • 1 Blender
  • 1 Cutting Board
  • 1 Tongs
  • 1 Turner
  • 1 Knife

  • Directions

    Roast and Blend

    1. Put on a griddle over medium heat:
    • 3 Catarina Peppers.
    • 2 Tomatoes.

    If you want to diminish a bit the spiciness of your salsa, remove the seeds of the catarina peppers.

    1. Roast the chilies for about 2½ minutes and the tomatoes for about 5 minutes, until all their sides are moderately roasted; move them regularly with some tongs.
    2. Transfer from the griddle to a blender, with the tongs, the ingredients that were roasted.
    3. Also add in the blender:
    • 1/4 of an Onion.
    • 2 Garlic cloves.

    1. Blend very well the ingredients, then reserve.

    Cook the Salsa

    1. Heat in a saucepan over low heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
    2. Add in the saucepan:
    • The Mixture that was blended.
    • 1/2 tablespoon of Salt.

    1. Mix the catarina salsa and cook it for about 10 minutes, until it thickens a little and acquires a more intense red color; stir occasionally.

    A Simple and Tasty

    Tip: If you feel that the salsa is too spicy ... you will have to prepare a Mexican drink.

    Did you like the Catarina Salsa?

    Other Mexican Salsas

    Mole from Morelia
    Yucatecan Pipian
    Drunk Salsa
    Achiote Paste
    Ancho Pepper Adobo

    Prepare the salsa in clay cazuela and feel the Mexican tradition.

    Know more about the Mexican salsas with this book.

    Put the salsa in these plates it will look very original.