Basic Mexican dips - salsa, pico de gallo with corn, guacamole

Continuing on the previous post where I promised the mexican party recipes. The most basic, very fresh and flavorful recipes for any mexican party are : salsa, pico de gallo and guacamole. I just love these dips and they are totally addictive with corn/tortilla chips.

Mexican Dips


Lets start with the simplest of the recipes. I have added some yogurt to the recipe to make it creamier and lighter at the same time. I also think it might have helped with keeping the guacamole bright green even the next day. i also left one avocado pit in the guacamole which is also said to help retain the color. I did not add garlic to guacamole to let the avocado and lemon taste take the mainstage.


4 medium avocados *see notes
1/2 onion
2 jalapenos, seeded 
few sprigs cilantro
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cumin powder
2-3 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp thick yogurt
  • Put the finely chopped cilantro, onions and jalapenos in a bowl.
  • Add cubed avocado flesh to the bowl and mash everything up with a fork.
  • Add the salt, cumin powder, lemon juice and yogurt. Mix everything up and keep covered till ready to serve.
  • The guacamole will not stay great for more than a couple of days. But that will not be a problem if you have chips on hand.
The most important part of making guacamole is selecting avocados. The avocados have to be neither too firm nor too soft. They should not be brown at all. The fool proof way to select avocado is to flip the stem end open and see the color. If it is bright, the avocado needs to go in your shopping cart. Another way is to lightly press your thumb near the base and if it gives just slightly, good to go home with you! If it does not budge, it is raw and can be ripened on the counter but if it is too soft, it is overripe and most likely turning brown inside.

Corn Pico de gallo

Pico de gallo often called "pico" lovingly is often confused with salsa. From what I understand, salsa has crushed or blended tomatoes and more liquid while pico has chopped ingredients and lot less liquid.
This pico has fresh roasted corn because who doesn't love corn? specially with corn chips?

Corn Pico de gallo

2 ears corn, oven-roasted *see notes
5 good ripe and juicy tomatoes
1 medium red onion
3-4 jalapenos, seeded
6-8 cloves of garlic
1 bunch cilantro
1 lemon juice and zest
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin powder
  • Easiest directions ever. Finely chop all the ingredients and mix together in a bowl.
  • Let it sit together to release the juices and to bring out the flavor

  • Frozen, thawed corn also works. Or fresh steamed ears of corn can be used instead of roasting them.
  • To roast corn in the oven, place the corn with the husk intact, in a 400 F oven and bake for 30 mins. Peel the husk and run a knife lengthwise along the corn ear, while resting it on a chopping board, to remove the kernels. 


As I wrote above, salsa is more liquid and less chunky than a pico de gallo or salsa fresca. I used a recipe where the salsa is cooked.  Although it tasted like a good salsa but it did not taste like the addictive salsa from the mexican restaurants. I followed this recipe. Next time, I will try using fresh tomatoes and also leave the seeds in on one of the jalapenos. This time, it was a touch too tomatoey and not spicy enough.
I will update the recipe when I work on it again.


1 28 oz can whole peeled tomatoes
1 onion
3 seeded jalapenos
1/2 bunch cilantro
3 cloves garlic
2 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp oil
  • Blend canned tomatoes with juices, cilantro and jalapenos in a blender
  • Heat oil in a pan and add the onions and garlic and saute for half a minute
  • Add the tomato puree from the blender and add the salt and cumin powder
  • Cook till the salsa reduces and reaches your desired consistency.


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