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Colombian Style SALSA (Ají) Recipe

Salsa is a sauce typically used as a dip (eaten with chips) and most often is tomato-based incorporating ingredients like onions, jalapeños or other peppers, and herbs. There are endless styles and even within specific regions, each person’s recipe can differ. The recipes for “ají” or “salsa de ají picante” are no different to these variations. The first time I tried this universal condiment (Colombian style) was at a roadside restaurant in the mountains of Medellin – the capital of the Colombian province, Antioquia. It spoke to my tangy-loving palate.  From that moment, I knew that I had to create my own version!

This tasty, fresh Colombian style salsa can be made either mild or picante (spicy). It greatly compliments grilled meats, tostones, empanadas, or even just tortilla chips. In our household we basically put it on everything – even eggs! Some may create their ají as a smooth (by using a food processor) sauce, but we prefer it chunky-style.


  • 2 diced roma tomatoes
  • 2 diced green tomatoes
  • 1 diced/seeded jalapeño
  • 1.5 cups chopped green onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped white onion (optional – I only add this sometimes)
  • 1.5 cups chopped cilantro
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup avocado oil
  • 1 small lime’s juice
  • 1 tbsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tbsp onion powder (omit if you add/use the chopped white onion)
  • 1/2 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tbsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. parsley flakes
  • 1/2 tsp. celery salt/powder


  1. In a medium-size mixing bowl, combine the roma/green tomatoes, jalapeño, green/white onions and cilantro.
  2. Add the salt, lime juice, and vinegar. Mix and let sit for a few minutes.
  3. Then add the garlic powder, onion powder (only if you don’t use the chopped white onion), black pepper, chili powder, paprika, parsley flakes, celery salt/powder. Mix.
  4. Add the avocado oil and mix again.
  5. Then slowly start pouring in the water and mix until desired consistency (may need more or less).
  6. Refrigerate for at least 45 minutes before serving.
  7. Store in air-tight container for up to 7 days in refrigerator.

x. Heather

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