icon Achiote Paste

Achiote Paste (Recado rojo) is a Mexican spice paste made of ground annatto seeds, cumin, pepper, coriander, oregano, cloves, garlic, and citrus juice or vinegar. It adds a spicy sweet and smoky flavor to tacos, but also meat and fish in general. The key ingredient are annatto seeds from the achiote plant, a shrub native to Central America. They give the paste its distinctive red-orange color.


  • 1/4 cup annatto seeds
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup bitter orange juice or 1/4 cup orange juice plus 1/4 cup lime juice or 1/3 cup white vinegar


  1. Grind the annatto, coriander, and cumin seeds, peppercorns, cloves, oregano, garlic and salt with a mortar and pestle.
  2. Place in a blender, add the orange juice in a blender and process until smooth.
  3. Store in your refrigerator

Achiote seeds, source - Wikimedia Commons.

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