Chirmol is an everyday salsa used in Guatemalan cuisine to liven up everything from enchiladas, to tostadas, to eggs, to fish, to beef, and chicken. It is a condiment found on the table at every meal. At once, fresh and bright,  the charred vegetables combine into a smoky depth of flavor. Easy to make, and easy to control the amount of desired heat, this pico-de-gallo cousin is versatile and as perfect company to an ice cold beer in summer as it is to weeknight tacos served in the depth of winter. The technique to master the perfectly round fresh tortillas takes time to master, but who cares? The taste, whether a bit oblong or jaggedly shaped, is far superior to store bought tortillas. Whether served alone with the chirmol, or filled with shredded or finely cut pieces of meat, fresh masa tortillas are sensational smelling, taste bud tantalizing, and a belly filling Latin American staple.
cuisine Guatemalan
difficulty Easy
season Year Round
serves 4 to 6

Ingredients for the salsa

  • 2 pints organic grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 medium white onion, cut into
  • 4 wedges
  • 1 jalapeño
  • 1 tomatillo, husk removed
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, leaves
  • only, minced
  • Kosher salt, to taste

Ingredients for the tortillas

  • 1 cup masa harina (flour used to make masa dough)
  • 1 cup water, warm

Directions for the salsa

  1. Prepare the OFYR grill or heat a 10" cast iron skillet over high heat.
  2. Add the tomatoes to the OFYR ring or the cast iron skillet. Dry roast or grill the tomatoes turning from time to time until charred on all sides. Remove the tomatoes from the grill or the skillet and reserve.
  3. Add the onion, the jalapeño, and the tomatillo to the grill ring or to the cast iron skillet. Dry roast or grill all until charred on all sides. 
  4. When the jalapeño is cool enough to handle, cut in half, stem and seed.
  5. Add the tomatoes, the tomatillo, half of the jalapeño, and the lime juice to a Vitamix or other blender. Pulse until blended but not completely pureed (fine chunks of each vegetable should be visible).
  6. Add the onion and cilantro to the salsa and season with salt to taste. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to two days.

Directions for the tortillas

  1. Add the masa to a medium bowl.
  2. Add half of the warm water to the masa. Use your hand to incorporate the water until the water is absorbed. Add the rest of the water, incorporated with the palm of your hand until the dough is soft and pliable.
  3. Eyeball or use a 2" ice cream scoop to make round balls of dough.
  4. Flatten each ball with your hand and then pat into uniform discs about 1/4" thick.
  5. Cook the discs on the hottest part of the OFYR ring (if the grill isn't hot enough, the tortillas will dry out before they begin to get brown spots), or in a pre-heated cast iron skillet set over a high flame on the stove.
  6. When golden brown spots begin to show, flip the tortilla. The tortillas are ready when both sides have golden brown spots throughout the tortilla. Serve immediately (put in a bowl and cover with a damp towel if not using immediately).