This punchy tomato sauce, made in a comal (gridde), forms the base of many Yucatecan dishes. It works a treat with fried or boiled eggs.

2 cups





Skill level

Average: 5 (2 votes)


  • 450 g ripe tomatoes
  • ¼ white onion
  • 1 whole habanero chilli (optional)
  • 1 cup coriander, leaves and upper stems coarsely ground
  • ½ tsp coarse sea salt, or to taste

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Heat a comal (griddle) over medium heat and place the tomatoes, quartre 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 grill, and grill 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 (or a mortar and pestle), 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.