Recipe: Salvadoran Relajo Spice Mixture

For those of you who are unable to find Salvadoran relajo to make salsa Criolla to go with Panes con Pavo, pollo, or tamales, here is a “recipe” I came up with so you can make your own if necessary. I read the ingredients on several different brands of authentic Salvadoran relajo and most of them have these spices, (although a few don’t include cloves, peppercorns and/or cumin seeds – so including or excluding those is up to you.) Feel free to tweak it to your family’s preferences, but this should be a good place to start!



    • Hi, I’m not sure what you mean. Relajo ingredients and measurements vary from family to family. This is the way I make it. As for the “” logo on the image, I put that on all my images to prevent theft. There are many people (especially who run Facebook pages) who like to steal my images and pretend they created them. The logo on the image helps ensure that if someone reposts it elsewhere, at least those who see it will know where it came from on the internet. It’s standard practice for most professional blogs to place a logo or watermark on images. In no way does it insinuate that I invented relajo, just as Martha Stewart putting her name on a chocolate cake recipe does not mean she invented chocolate cake. Hope that makes sense to you and answers your question.

    • Hi Paula, they have them online (on Amazon, for example) … Dried ancho or pasilla chiles are also fine if you can find those at your local market, but not the guajillos. Every international market I’ve been to has always had them, so hopefully you have one nearby.

      Buena suerte!

  1. So I see the list up there but from my Salvadoran Aunt who has been making these all her life here is the list.
    She taught me how to make them recently

    just the list of whats in the relajo

    bay leaves
    nutmeg nut
    annatto powder
    sesame seeds
    pumpkin seeds

    as for the dried chili peppers
    you can use the following if you cant find the ones on the label
    ancho chilis
    regular green bell pepper (most likely to be found)
    california pepper
    poblano (usually can be found)
    Anaheim Pepper (lime green, long pepper can usually be found)

    • Hi, Donna, please click the “Recipes” tab at the top of the blog and then on that page click on the recipe for “Panes con Pavo (or Pollo!)” — That’s a great recipe to use the Salvadoran relajo spice mixture in. Enjoy!

  2. Thank you for sharing the recipe and associated information. You have chile without stem (I get that – I wouldn’t want to try to chew on a dry stem). Do you leave the seeds in the dried chiles, or shake them out? Or is that a matter of preference? Thanks!

    • It’s just a matter of preference. If you leave the seeds it might be a little spicier depending on the type of chile used, and I imagine the seeds affect the texture of the salsa a little even after blending it, but I usually leave the seeds and haven’t had any issue at all!

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