chimol: honduran salsa

sorry – this posting is a bit belated. between getting sick and a painful loss in our family, time has slipped past me. and…i’m struggling a little with the format of this blog. i appreciate the freedom greatly to be able to write whatever i please and make whatever i choose…but it’s feeling a little haphazard and random. i guess i want a little structure to what foods i’m blogging about instead of whatever happens to make the cut.

the real intent of this whole venture is to explore food and share what i learn about food eating, food making, cultural perceptions through food, etc. instead, i have limited myself to overly thought out posts from a few food making attempts. that is not at all a bad thing. but it’s a small piece of what i really want to focus on here. and it really limits how frequently i write and the content of what i write about.

so, my new challenge will be to stretch out the focus of the blog, write more regularly and center my writing on significant content.

all that being said, my latest and greatest exploration has a story.

i have a godmother, a madrina. she is from honduras. and while my mother never cooked, my godmother constantly cooked. as a child, i spent a significant part of my life at my madrina’s. especially when i got sick, which was a lot. when i think of my madrina’s house, my memories are filled with the smells of the foods she made. there was never any lack of fresh tortillas, beans, carnitas, creama  and various preparations of beef. i vividly remember my godfather eating jalapenos voraciously from the jar as a practical side dish to pretty much every meal, along with a cold heineken to wash everything down.

it’s funny how those little details can sometimes end up being our defining interpretations of who a person is and what they mean to us. for me, my madrina’s cooking was a welcomed introduction to the wide world of latin american comfort foods. she knew how to stretch a meal while making it taste good as hell. most of us resonate with the foods of our childhood. i resonate with my madrina’s cooking. it was like watching bob ross spatter together a painting in a half hour…art and a mastery of techniques well beyond the realm of my understanding.

as i’ve recently learned, what i called chilmol for years is actually “chimol” according to the internet. and it very often includes radishes, which is not a part of my madrina’s recipe. my own has evolved over time to differ greatly from hers. i use a shit ton of garlic and a lot of heat. i planned to use radishes in this version, as the farmer’s market has gorgeous and spicy all white radishes at the moment. but i forgot to buy them.

don’t let that deter you though. just dice some up in your own chimol, load onto a tortilla chip and eat until you sufficiently reach the food coma stage. wash down with a nice alcoholic beverage to thoroughly appreciate the deliciousness…also, getting drunk is particularly awesome when accomplished with salsa as a partner. i prefer it myself.


chimol by lisa,

3-4 lbs tomatoes (heirloom will weigh more and be juicer than plum varieties like roma)
1 large onion, diced
1/3 -1 /2 cup finely chopped cilantro
1+ chili peppers (jalapeno, serrano, etc) depending on how spicy you like, finely diced
juice of 1 medium lemon
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbs cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1-2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
tony chachere’s creole seasoning, to taste
salt & pepper, to taste


in a medium sized non-reactive bowl, add tomatoes, then onion, stir to combine

if you have excess tomato juice, drain and reserve (for a great bloody mary!)

add cilantro, pepper, lemon, garlic, chili powder, olive oil, tonys, salt and pepper. adjust taste as needed. refrigerate and allow flavors to marry for improved flavor over next few days.


This entry was posted in sauces & dressings, vegan(able), vegetables. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to chimol: honduran salsa

  1. Carly says:

    Back when we were in high school, your godmother made this while she was visiting. It knocked my socks off. You gave me this recipe, and I still have it in my stash of favorites. It is in your handwriting, but chimol was spelled “chill mole” 🙂 Thank god for the internet! I have made this many times over the years and it always gets RAVE reviews. This reminds me to make it again soon…

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