Big change in life, like starting a PhD, is pretty scary…salsa roja is nice and comforting, see where I’m going with this? Salsa roja goes on everything, you can have it cold or warm right out of the pan. I made this one with fermented peppers to add a bit of funk, but fresh peppers will be just as delicious! The recipe below is more of a loose guide, feel free to change proportions and methods as you want, it will be delicious no matter what.


  • 5-6 roma tomatoes
  • 2 medium yellow onions
  • 2 chipotle peppers
  • Ají amarillo or habanero peppers (can be 1 or 10, depending on how hot you want it)
  • 2 dried guajillo peppers
  • Salt, pepper, lime juice and oregano to taste
  • Cooking oil (like sunflower or regular olive oil)


  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C
  2. Cut the tomatoes and onions in half and place them on an oven tray You could do this on a barbecue, just leave everything whole!
  3. Bake/grill until the skin of the tomatoes is curling, and the edges of the onions are charring
  4. Get everything out of the heat and let it sit for a few minutes
  5. In the meantime: toast the guajillos in a pan on medium heat, or directly on the fire, until they start inflating
  6. Blend everything together to the desired consistency, or use a molcajete!
  7. Heat some oil in a sauce pan
  8. Fry the sauce for a minute, then turn down the heat to low
  9. Simmer for 15 minutes
  10. Fix salt & pepper to taste (you can even sprinkle some sugar to bring the flavors together)