Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Smoky Tomato Red Pepper Salsa

Story: Ignorance is bliss?? I don't think so.. What's worse? Over-confidence and ignorance.. it can hurt you.. quite literally..

Many years ago I picked up a few chilies from the grocery store to try different flavors. They looked very colorful - some were orange, some parrot green. I was planning to cook up some exotic salad. Being a proud देसी/Indian I was super confident about handling the spice level of - ANYTHING I can buy in a typical American grocery store.

Next thing I know, my palms have a burning sensation, my eyes are watering while cutting these new chilies I got.. I wash my hands with soap and then wipe my eyes with the same hand.. Aaarrrgh!! my eyes start burning now.. I am going - "WHAT IS THIS CHILLI?" - I had not bothered to even look at the name..

I heard a voice - "रिश्तेमें तो हम तुम्हारे बाप लगते है! नाम है - Habanero peppers!"

When used in moderation.. the same peppers add a very enjoyable kick to this smoky salsa.

Source: AshaCool kitchen (Inspired by a recipe from Silvana Franco)
Time: 30 minutes
  • 2 tomatoes - smoked on flame till the skin becomes black and starts separating from the tomato
  • 1 large red pepper - smoked on flame
  • 1 Habanero pepper
  • 1 tsp crushed black pepper
  • 2 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • Handful coriander leaves finely cut
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 green chilli finely chopped
  • 1 tsp olive oil

Blend half of the smoked red pepper, 1 tomato, garlic, green chilli, olive oil and black pepper. Thinly chop the remaining tomato and red pepper and add to the mixture. Add coriander leaves, vinegar and salt to taste.

I try and minimize direct contact with the Habanero pepper :-) So I stick a fork in the Habanero and smoked it directly on flame. Then I dipped this fork with Habanero in the salsa and let it sit in the salsa for 10 ish minutes.

You get the heat of the Habanero just at the right level.. Enjoy with your favorite tortilla chips!


  1. I like the idea of partial blending resulting in a chunky salsa.

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