Appetizers Pati Jinich

Basic Yucatecan Tomato Sauce



By Pati’s Mexican Table


A classic Mexican staple, Chiltomate is sometimes referred to as one of the first tomato sauces in the world as it is native to the Mayans in the Yucatan peninsula. Both a sauce and a salsa, this flavourful recipe is versitle and goes with almost anything (but we recommend adding it to your enchiladas)!


Renders 2 cups


  • 1 pound ripe tomatoes
  • 1/4 white onion
  • 1 whole habanero chile (optional)
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped cilantro leaves and upper stems
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt or to taste



Heat a comal over medium heat and place the tomatoes, quarter onion and whole habanero (if using) on it, and toast for 10 to 12 minutes, flipping once in between, until completely charred. Alternatively, place on a baking sheet under the broiler, and broil for 10 to 12 minutes, flipping once, until completely roasted. Remove from the heat and let cool.

Chop the charred onion, as well as the habanero, removing its seeds.

Completely mash the tomatoes in a molcajete, and incorporate the onion, cilantro, and salt.

First, add half of the habanero and mash until well mixed. Taste for heat and add more habanero if desired.

Alternatively, put the ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until fully combined but still chunky.


Need more culinary inspiration? Check out Pati’s Mexican Table!