Guacamole a la Madre
The sun is beating down on your head, relentlessly. Thankfully you’ve remembered your hat! The sand is sticking to your wet toes, your skin smells of seawater and sunscreen. The sea, a rich blue is glistening next to you, topped with little wisps of foam as the gentle waves roll in. Seagulls are screeching overhead, while out at sea you spot some pelicans idling around waiting to catch fish. You just manage to grab the last table at a little run down beach cafe. As you lower yourself into the faded plastic chairs you order an ice-cold lemonade and of course, guacamole to start. For you are in Mexico! And it would be a sin not to, for surely nowhere in the world has better guacamole than Mexico.
In my opinion, good guacamole requires 2 essential things. The first is obviously perfectly ripe, creamy avocado. Sadly, easier said than done here in London, but sometimes you get lucky. Or you just have to plan your guacamole making a few days in advance while you wait for your rocks, I mean avocados, to ripen. However even then they never quite taste like in Mexico as they are harvested way to early to really develop the perfect flavour. I’ve found adding a bit of oil can really help on that front. Now, the second thing is that guacamole really needs to pack a punch. Your senses have to be literally attacked by the sharpness of the lime, the heat from the chill and the fragrant coriander. It is what separates THE guacamole from just any old guacamole. Do not be stingy with your flavourings. This recipe also adds onion and garlic. The original recipe has white onion, however I can never find the mild salad onions here that I like and the regular cooking onions in my opinion are a bit too harsh. Therefore I have switched this out with spring onions and found it worked really well. The garlic adds a great extra kick so don’t skip it.
I’ve served mine with sweet potato wedges, which are literally just wedges tossed in whatever spices I want, oil and salt and then roasted in a hot oven until soft. Of course you can just serve it with tortilla chips like in Mexico. Or eat it with some Chilli con Carne, on toast, on its own…pretty much tastes great with everything.
My brother Nadim and his girlfriend Anna. Nadim moved to Mexico City 2 years ago for an internship and finally, last spring, Jeff and I had the pleasure of visiting my brother. We ate guacamole every single day. Often made by my brother who is now my king of guacamole. He makes the best guacamole I know. I am so grateful he shared the recipe! As is often the case, we spent most of our childhood trying
to make each others life hell. Then, suddenly we were grown up and no longer living together and now I miss him like crazy. We can laugh at the silliest things for ages. Nadim loves to eat and cook as much as I do. We always tell each other about food we made and sending each other pictures of what we are eating (my sole purpose in trying to make him jealous – we are still siblings after all!)
Secrets to Success:
- Mashing up the avocado with the flavourings really helps to combine the flavours together. Traditionally in Mexico you use a large pestle and mortar but you can do this on a chopping board. I’ve found this to be much tastier than just mashing up the avocado and then stirring in the remaining ingredients.
- If you can’t find a habanero chilli, feel free to replace it with another chilli. Just be mindful they all have a different level of heat, so taste them first so you know what you’re getting yourself in to!
- Mexicans use different types of chilli for different food. You may think a chilli is just chilli and just hot. But in fact different chillies not only have different levels of heat but also different flavours. I’m not just talking about your red vs green chilli but the difference in flavour between a jalapeño, a birds eye or a scotch bonnet.