Annatto paste - Mexican recipe

Annatto paste – Mexican recipe

Annatto is the seed of a shrub that grows in tropical areas of America. This seed is highly valued in cooking for its coloring power and use as a spice and seasoning. It is a basic ingredient in the preparation of many dishes in Mexican cuisine, as it is used to flavor traditional recipes such as cochinita pibil, tacos al pastor, and tamale de pelota.

Annatto paste gives dishes an elaborate, bold, peppery, spicy, slightly smoky, sweet flavor with a nutty aroma. As mentioned earlier, it is also a natural coloring agent, as it turns everything it touches a reddish color.

This recipe is typical of the Yucatan region, also known as “Red Message”. The history of this seasoning goes back even further, but it is of Mayan origin and was widely used in cooking and painting.

material: makes 1 cup

  • 2 tablespoons annatto seeds
  • 2 habanero chiles (30 grams)
  • 1 lemon (30 grams)
  • 1 sour orange (200g)*
  • 4 garlic cloves (20 grams)
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon allspice corn
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt

*You can also substitute a mixture of 1/4 cup sweet orange juice and 1/4 cup white vinegar.


Place the annatto seeds in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Soak for 24 hours to soften.

the next day…

check The annatto seeds you soaked should be soft. However, leave it to soak for longer.

Transfer the soaked annatto seeds from the bowl to a colander; remove excess moisture. Transfer the seeds from a colander to a paper towel; let them dry very good.

Transfer the seeds from the paper towel to a spice grinder. Also add cloves, coriander seeds, cumin seeds and allspice to the spice grinder.

shred Mix all the spices well until the consistency of a fine powder.lastly make a reservation.

Blend all ingredients.

Remove the seeds and pith from the habanero peppers. Then put it in a blender.

Also add the following to blender:

Powder obtained by grinding spices, lemon juice, sour orange juice, garlic, nutmeg, oregano, white vinegar, pepper and salt.

blend Ingredients are very good.

If the paste is too thick, add equal parts sour orange juice and white vinegar until the desired consistency is achieved. The texture of this dough should be thick and slightly softer than a stick of clay.

Hint: If you have some achiote seeds left, heat a frying pan with 1 cup of oil (olive or vegetable oil) over low heat, add the remaining achiote seeds and fry for about 5 minutes. Then strain the oil and you’ll have delicious annatto oil that’s a great flavor for any dish.

This recipe was taken from:

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