Chilaquiles in Ancho-Tamarind Salsa


Chilaquiles in Ancho-Tamarind Salsa

This recipe comes to us via Ray Seraphin, our Albany, California, store manager. 

This unique take on chilaquiles doesn't involve your average red or green salsa. The spicy, sweet-sour sauce is mole-esque in appearance and taste, but not in cooking time. The salsa also doubles as an excellent marinade for grilled shrimp or pulled pork — we'd even recommend throwing a little into your pad thai!

For the salsa:

2 oz whole ancho chiles (approx. six chiles), stemmed and de-seeded
1 onion, roughly chopped
5 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1/4 cup Angkor tamarind paste*
1/4 cup raisins or currants
2 tablespoons Hot and Smoky Adobo
1 teaspoon Indian extra bold coriander
1/3 cup brown sugar or piloncillo
Water to cover
1/3 cup peanut butter
2 tablespoons salt, more to taste
1/3 cup neutral oil

    For the chilaquiles:

    1 tablespoon neutral oil
    1 16-oz bag of tortilla chips (preferably thick-cut)
    Water or stock

      Garnish (optional):

      Queso Fresco
      Pickled onions


        Clean your chiles with either kitchen scissors or gloved hands. Remove the seeds and stems. Place in a medium sized pot.

        Add the onion, garlic, tamarind paste, raisins, spices, and sugar to the pot with the chiles. Cover with water. Set to medium-high heat until mixture starts to bubble. Reduce to a simmer and cook for approximately 15 minutes.

        Once the vegetables are softened, allow mixture to cool slightly. Add mixture to blender with peanut butter, salt, and oil. Blend on high until sauce is smooth and thick.

        In a large saute pan, add 1 tablespoon of oil and heat on medium-low until oil is hot but not smoking. Add ½ cup of the sauce to the pan, stirring quickly so it doesn't burn. Because the sauce will have thickened considerably, add water or stock to the pan until you reach your desired consistency. 

        Once the sauce is heated through, remove the pan from the burner and add chips — a few handfuls per person. Allow chips to sit in the sauce for 3-4 minutes until soft, but not mushy. Serve with optional queso fresco, pickled onions, sour cream, cilantro and a fried egg. Store remaining sauce in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to two weeks. 

          * Angkor tamarind paste is available at Oaktown Spice Shop retail store locations.

          2 Responses


          July 12, 2022

          Hi Angela,

          Sorry for our delayed response. Angkor tamarind paste is available at our retail locations. We don’t ship the jars due to concerns about breakage and contamination of shipments. If you aren’t local to the bay area you can purchase tamarind paste from Angkor Food on their website.

          Angela Lucero
          Angela Lucero

          July 08, 2022

          I’m guessing your Angkor tamarind paste is not available to purchase for shipping since I can’t find it when searching your site?

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