Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Pico de gallo and Salsa verde

I love the sound of pico de gallo. Sounds so fancy right?? It does to me too when I see this in Mexican and South American food menus. When I order it, I find that in reality pico de gallo is nothing but our Indian kachumber made with chopped red tomatoes, onion, cilantro and green chillies.Something that we Indians have been making for centuries and is often a taken for granted side-dish in our meals! As an Indian, I find Mexican/ South American cuisine pretty similar to ours! We like spicy food, they like spicy food. They use a lot of cilantro and so do we. They use cumin very commonly and so do we! The only thing that differs is the chilli peppers that are used. I wasn't familiar with jalapeño and Serrano peppers while in India.

While pico de gallo is salsa made with red tomatoes, salsa verde is salsa made with tomatillos. Tomatillos are raw green tomatoes which gives the salsa green color and hence it is called "salsa verde". "Verde"means  "green" in spanish. Both pico de gallo and salsa verde can be made with raw chopped tomatoes/ tomatillos or roasted tomatoes/tomatoes.

Today, we shall make Pico de gallo using chopped red tomato and make salsa verde using roasted tomatillos. It  is so simple and easy to make. You can pair it with chips, enchiladas and use as a topping on tacos. I don't think I would ever again bring store-bought salsa when I can so easily make it at home!!

Pico de gallo:

Servings: makes 2 cups


Red tomato: 1 big, chopped fine.
Jalapeño pepper: 1/2 medium sized, deseeded and minced.
White onion: 1 small, chopped fine.
Spring onion: 1, chopped fine.
Lime juice: 1 tbsp ( from 1/2 small lime)
Cilantro: 2 sprigs, chopped fine.
Salt: 1/4 tsp ( adjust as per taste)


Take all the ingredients listed above in a bowl and mix well!

Voila! Pico de gallo is ready! 

Keep it chilled in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Serve it with tortilla chips or enchiladas or with anything that you like!

Salsa verde

Servings: 3 cups


Tomatillos: 3 medium sized
Serrano pepper: 1/2, deseeded( can adjust as per taste)
Onion: 1/2 small
Garlic: 1 small clove
Cumin powder: 1/4 tsp
Salt : 1/4 tsp
Cilantro: 3-4 sprigs, leaves separated.


Preheat the oven to 400 deg F. Place the tomatillos on a baking sheet and bake it for 10-15 mins until the outside of the tomato turns a little black in color. Turn off the oven and let it cool down.

Once it cools down, peel it and add the pulp to the food processor along with the garlic, Serrano chilli, cilantro, salt and cumin powder. Pulse it until the ingredients are all roughly puréed.

Add the finely chopped onion to this and mix well. 

Keep it in the refrigerator for an hour so that the flavors can come together. It also slightly thickens after sometime.

Serve cold as a dip, side or topping with tortilla chips,  tacos, enchiladas or any other food item that you desire.


Cooking made easy:

You can make avocado salsa or  chunky guacamole by just adding chopped avocado to pico de gallo! How cool is that??

Tip for healthy living:

Tomatillos have their own health benefits when consumed.

Food for thought:

In the end, people are persuaded not by what we say, but by what they understand. John C.Maxwell