© Eric Wolfinger
Active Time
15 MIN
Total Time
30 MIN
Serves : makes about 2 1/2 cups

Anna Zepaltas reserves powerful, complex-tasting red salsas for beef, pork, lamb or hearty mushroom tamales. Slideshow: More Terrific Salsas

How to Make It

Step 1    

In a large heatproof bowl, cover the dried chiles and raisins with the boiling water; set a plate on top to submerge the chiles. Let stand until softened, about 15 minutes. Drain the chiles and raisins and transfer to a blender; reserve 1/4 cup of the soaking liquid.

Step 2    

In a small skillet, toast the sesame seeds and cumin over moderately high heat until fragrant and golden, shaking the pan, about 2 minutes. Transfer the seeds to the blender. Add the tomato, onion, garlic, lime juice, 1/4 cup of reserved soaking liquid and 1/2 cup of water and puree until smooth. Strain the salsa through a fine sieve, pressing hard on the solids. Season the salsa with salt.

Chef's Notes

Dried pasilla and guajillo chiles are available at Latin American markets, specialty food stores and some supermarkets.

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