Salsa Roja (Salsa Red)

February 15th, 2010

“Salsa” has much more character to it than being just a spicy chili, tomato, onion, garlic or herb based sauce. The process of creating salsa started in Mexico. “Salsas” are the introduction to any meal in Mexico. Today in almost all Mexican restaurants you are honored with a refreshing bowl of salsa and tortilla chips while you are speculating about your order.

The word “Salsa” is Spanish and means any sauce, cooked or uncooked with fruits, vegetables, herbs and seasonings. Salsa can be served as an appetizer with chips, it can be spread over main dishes like burritos, enchiladas, rellenos or tacos and it can also be spread over some Spanish or plain rice. In addition to this salsas can go with all different types of food. They can be spread over broiled meats, seafood, eggs or pasta dishes. Salsas are very refreshing, colorful and appetite enhancing.

In any salsa cooked or uncooked the ingredients must be very fresh. Salsa can be found at stores or through catalogues bottled or canned but the best product is when you get into the music of it and chop and blend it yourself. Salsa is in fact the most perfect health food you can find. Fresh salsa has no fat content and is made of fresh fruits, herbs and vegetables. The spices that are used in it have medicinal qualities as documented more than five thousand years ago in the ancient healing system of India, the Ayurveda. There are many different types of salsas available throughout Mexico. Today we will try out the most popular one, the Salsa Roha or the traditional red salsa.

More than thirteen years ago when I came to Colorado U.S.A. I instantly fell in love with Mexican Cuisine. The spices had some of the same music that I was used to in Calcutta, India, my birth place. I loved all the different types of salsas here and experimented with them a lot. I started competing in Boulder County Fairs and different salsa and chili cook-offs beginning in 1997. Immediately my salsas and chilies started winning awards. I also visited Mexico several times to help pick up the authentic touch. I enjoy making salsa whenever I get a chance.

The most important thing in any salsa as I already mentioned before, is that your ingredients should be absolutely fresh. The vegetables or fruits used should be crisp and not wilted and the spices should be fresh and not old for the best flavor. The magic of the best salsa is in the freshness of it’s ingredients.

This recipe is very simple but a tasty one with easily available ingredients. Adding peppers for heat or to tease your taste buds is entirely your choice. You may omit the hot peppers and add some colorful bell peppers instead. Some pepper either hot or mild is needed in salsas for flavor and also to make the perfect blend.

2 Cups Ripe red Tomatoes chopped fine

¼ Cup Onions chopped fine

¼ Cup Cilantro or Coriander Leaves chopped fine

2 Jalapenos or six Serranos chopped fine

2 Cloves Garlic peeled and grated

1 Tsp. Ground Cumin Seed

2 Tbs. Fresh Lime Juice

1 Tsp. Salt or to taste

1 Tsp. Sugar

When you are making this salsa or any salsa for yourself you may add as much hot peppers as you wish. In any glass bowl mix all the above ingredients together and serve with tortilla chips or as a side with lunch or dinner.

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