Chismol (pronounced “chee-mole”) is the name of a fresh simple salty & sour vegetable salsa / salad popular in Honduras, usually served as a condiment. The bright mix of tomatoes, onions, and peppers is similar to the famous Mexican pico-de-gallo and can be used as a dip for tortillas chips or as a topping for carne asada, meat empanadas and any other meal for that matter. The longer it sits, the better.
Seasoned with vinegar, lime juice, salt & cumin, variations exist depending on the region in Central America. This is a very simple version of the recipe, and the favorite in my family. Less is more with such a tangy combination, which adds a subtle yet fantastic touch to any dish, with a unique kick that has proven a bit too sour for the unaccustomed palate.
For the Mix
- 1 large white onion, finely diced
- 1 large green bell pepper, finely diced
- 1 large red bell pepper, finely diced
- 1 large yellow bell pepper, finely diced
- 2 large tomatoes, finely diced
- 1 garlic glove, minced
- 2 teaspoons of ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon of ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon of ground cayenne pepper
- 2 teaspoon of salt
- 1 tablespoon of lime juice
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1/4 cup of white vinegar
Begin by washing and chopping your vegetables, discarding the less attractive pieces. Throw into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients, except the vinegar, and mix gently until evenly coated. Be sure to add the salt, pepper & cumin to taste. I couldn’t really say how much goes in because I add and add until I get it just right! So start off with the recommended amount and spice it up to your own personal taste, trying the mixture often yourself until you get it just right.
Place the mixture in a jar for storing. Add the vinegar and seal well. Give it a few shakes and let it sit for about 2-4 hours. It will hold well in the refrigerator for quite some time, and the longer it sits the more pickled the vegetables will become. The result is a cool & crunchy, delightfully sour treat, capable of going from snack to meat in a snap!