Pumpkin Seed Salsa (Sikil P’ak)

  • Serves

    makes about 1 1/2 cups


This earthy toasted pumpkin seed salsa, a specialty of the Yucatan, is rich, thick, and satisfying. Serve it with tortilla chips for dipping. This recipe first appeared in our August/September 2012 issue with Hugo Ortega's article Special Sauce.


  • 1 14 cups raw, unhulled pumpkin seeds (available at
  • 2 plum tomatoes, cored
  • 1 habanero chile, stemmed
  • 3 tbsp. finely chopped cilantro
  • 3 tbsp. finely chopped chives
  • Kosher salt, to taste


Step 1

Heat an 8″ skillet over medium-high heat. Add pumpkin seeds, and cook, swirling pan often, until lightly toasted, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a food processor, and process until smooth, about 45 seconds; set aside.

Step 2

Return skillet to heat and add tomatoes and chile; cook, turning as needed, until charred all over, about 5 minutes for the chile, 7 minutes for the tomatoes. Transfer to food processor with pumpkin seeds along with cilantro, chives, and salt, and pulse until smooth. Transfer to a bowl, and serve at room temperature.

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