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Canku Ota

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(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


August 10, 2002 - Issue 67


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The original Nahautl word for sweet green peppers was chilli. The Spaniards changed the spelling to chile, and in turn the English and Americans used chili. Although chili was once limited to green pepper, it is now used as a generic title for all peppers, etc. In Mexico, there is endless variety ranging through all degrees of hotness from the sweet chili ancho to the small hot brown chili piquin. Many varieties are canned. Where these are not available, various peppers found in the U.S.A. may be substitued, such as small red Italian peppers; or chili powder, to taste, with a dash of Tabasco sauce for zest.

Making your own tortilla chips:

Cut corn tortillas into pie shaped wedges and fry till they seem crispy, but NOT BROWN, in hot oil in a deep fat fryer or fry pan, a few at a time. Drain on paper towels, lightly sprinkle with salt and place in very low heat oven to keep warm and dry out.

You can try this with a variety of tortillas, whole wheat, flour, or blue corn.

All of these salsa recipes taste better if prepared at least hour ahead of time and refrigerated.

Corn and Tomato Salsa


  • 1 cup fresh corn kernels (from 2 small ears) or frozen, thawed
  • 1 large tomato, seeded, chopped
  • 2/3 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ to 1 jalapeño chili, seeded, minced
  • 1 avocado, pitted, peeled, chopped
  • Fresh cilantro sprigs

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl, cover and chill before serving.

Rojo Salsa


  • 4 Small tomatoes (about 1 lb.), peeled, finely chopped
  • 2 Fresh chiles, peeled, finely chopped OR 1/3 cup chopped green chiles
  • ½ Small jalapeño chile, stems and seeds removed
  • ½ Medium onion, finely chopped
  • ¼ C Fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 1 Large garlic clove, minced
  • 1 t Olive oil
  • ½ t Salt

Combine tomatoes, chiles, onion and cilantro in a bowl. Mash garlic with salt to make a paste. Stir garlic paste into tomato mixture.

Cover and allow to stand for two hours before serving to blend flavors. Serve at room temperature. Makes about 2-½ cups.

Home-style Salsa (for canning)


  • 35 Roma tomatoes
  • 3 green bell peppers, diced
  • 8 stalks celery, chopped
  • 8 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 (4 ounce) cans diced green chiles
  • 3 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 3 onions, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

In a six-quart pot of boiling water, blanch tomatoes, drain and cool under cold water. Peel and coarsely chop. Return chopped tomatoes to pot, bring to boil and reduce heat. Skim juice from top of tomatoes and reserve, if you'd like, for another use. Do not overcook and allow tomatoes to remain chunky.

In two quarts of boiling salted water, add chopped bell peppers, celery, jalapenos, garlic, green chilies and cook until all ingredients are tender. Drain and add vegetables to tomatoes.

Add salt, oregano, black pepper and cilantro. Simmer gently for 15 minutes.

Hot pack the salsa in clean pint jars. Follow manufactures suggestions on preparing the lids and jars for proper sealing.

Green Tomato Salsa


  • 1 green tomato or 4 tomatillas
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 hot pepper, minced
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup flat-leafed parsley
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger root, finely minced
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 sweet pepper, chopped
  • 1 red tomato

Cut tomatos into wedges and slice crosswise into thin slices.The tomatillas nees to be cooked for best flavor. Boil them for 5 minutes, or roast them, husk on, in a medium-hot frying pan, turning often, until the flesh is tender (about 10 minutes).
Mix with other ingredients and chill for at least 1 hour.


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  Canku Ota is a free Newsletter celebrating Native America, its traditions and accomplishments . We do not provide subscriber or visitor names to anyone. Some articles presented in Canku Ota may contain copyright material. We have received appropriate permissions for republishing any articles. Material appearing here is distributed without profit or monetary gain to those who have expressed an interest. This is in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107.  

Canku Ota is a copyright © 2000, 2001, 2002 of Vicki Lockard and Paul Barry.


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