If there’s one condiment that triggers mania here in Arizona, it’s chamoy. We pour it over mango, snow cones (aka chamoyada), and lace our cocktails with it. With 25 cents in hand, I’d chase down the ice cream truck as a kid to buy a mini bottle of chamoy. I’d suck that bottle dry by dinner time and have the red stained tongue to prove it.
If you’re searching for chamoy, it can mean only one thing. You’re probably hooked for life, which means you need your spicy candy sauce fix pronto. No matter where you are in the world, you can make authentic chamoy in 5 minutes with a few simple ingredients.
With your diy bottle of chamoy, I’m sure you’ll be making your own swirly chamoy popsicles and supremely refreshing mangonadas all summer long or enjoying with beer and jicama!
What’s in chamoy?
Chamoy is made up of chili, salt, sugar, and citric acid. Sometimes it contains fruit and is like a hot sauce candy.
Why This Recipe Works
Chamoy has a uniquely loud flavor profile. A true chamoy must be equally salty and sour, then spicy, and a little sweet. It should hit your tongue and instantly make you want some more. To get the signature flavor profile, this chamoy is made of ancho chili peppers, lime juice, apricot jam, salt, sugar, and water. That’s it.
Homemade chamoy is easy to make in a blender, and there’s nothing artificial about it.
What do you do with chamoy?
There are many variations when it comes to chamoy. Taste it by itself so you can adjustment the profile to your preferences (e.g. extra lime juice or salt). A popular street food is chamoy sauce with fresh mango, lime or Tajin – a salty, spicy Mexican seasoning. If you want the ultimate chamoy experience, check out these mangonada smoothies, where chamoy is used to coat the inside of a glass or make mango chamoy fruit roll ups (a total blast of flavor).
Which pepper is best for chamoy?
I recommend dried ancho chile peppers that have a reddish hue. However, if you are sensitive to spicy food, try using the milder New Mexico dried chile peppers instead. Both of these peppers have a pleasant fruity flavor.
I’m curious to know — where did you first try chamoy? I was introduced to it by a neighbor kid when I was 8. While it’s readily available in Arizona, I’ve seen it as far north as New York City. For those of you in-the-know, I think you’ll find this is the chamoy recipe you’ve been looking for.
Did you make this recipe? Leave a star rating and comment below!
- 3/4 cup water
- 3 dried ancho chili peppers
- 1 cup apricot jam 10 oz jar
- 1/2 cup lime juice from 4-5 large limes
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 3/4 tsp salt
- Add the water to the blender. Wipe the chili peppers to remove any dust. Pull off the stem and shake out the seeds. Place the whole pepper in the blender along with the apricot jam, lime juice, sugar, and salt.
- Blend on high speed until extremely smooth. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 2 months. Use chamoy with fresh mangos for a fun snack.
Selecting the Best Ancho Chile (Chili) PeppersYou can identify the best ancho chiles by the color. Look for red tones in the dried peppers because that is a signal for a fresher, more flavorful ancho.
Selecting the Best Apricot JamRead the ingredients on the jar of apricot jam. I like Crofter’s organic apricot jam (red label or blue are both 8 grams of sugar and work interchangeably) because the flavor of the apricot is pure and there’s no artificial ingredients or preservatives. Plus, it comes in a 10 oz jar, so you can just use the whole jar in this recipe.
Possible VariationsI really like this recipe because it tastes authentic, but you may consider adding a bit of citric acid powder (start with 1/4 teaspoon). Another idea to get that extra tangy oomph would be to add extra lime juice or a teaspoon of tamarind paste (just concentrated tangy tamarind) or any brand tamarind candy (tamarind and chile with sugar added). Just start by adding a little bit at a time (a small pinch or teaspoon), then add more to get it just right.
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