For as long as I can remember my mom has made chimol.
We’d BBQ, make carne asada, and she’d make a big pan of her famous and delicious rice. Plus a big ol’ bowl of chimol. I could eat just a bowl of rice drenched in chimol, with is lime tanginess, and be completely happy. As a kid, I remember wondering why she called it chimol, when it was so obviously pico de gallo (duh, mom). It’s not until I was a bit older that I realized, and maybe finally asked (duh, Claudia), that it’s a cultural thing. As Salvadorans, we don’t make Pico de Gallo. Our chimol recipe is slightly different as we also tend not to eat spicy foods. And my mom’s recipe is also slightly different than the norm as she has adapted it to add ingredients that she, and we, as a family enjoy.
It’s great that a simple dish brings back such happy childhood memories as well as adulthood happiness, because these days we take the joy wherever we can, even if it’s in making and sharing a simple chip and dip dish with loved ones. Chimol is usually placed on top of meats, chicken or fish but can be used in any meal, like myself on top of a bowl of rice, as well as a dip paired with chips. Sometimes just the scent or taste of something familiar can take you right back home, and sometimes in times of emotional struggle, that’s just what your heart needs.
The other great thing is that this is really easy to make and customize to your own personal taste, and there’s really no messing it up. For someone like me, thats really important because I can put away the cookbooks!
Most recently, I made this to share with my husband’s family and paired it with Good Health’s Organic Black Bean & Rice Tortillas. And they loved it! The struggle of trying to eat well is real, and even more so when you aren’t feeling your best and long for comfort food. So it’s nice to know that there is a better chip option out there. Good Health’s Organic Black Bean & Rice Tortillas are packed with organic ingredients, including vegetables! They contain no artificial colors, no hydrogenated oils and 0 trans fats. As I normally try to buy all organic ingredients, these chips are a perfect accompaniment to my all organic Salvadoran Chimol. The sprinkling of Himalayan Salt on the chips makes them tasty on their own as well.
- 3 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 bunch of cilantro, finely chopped
1 jalapeño, finely chopped (or more depending on your preference)
- 1 cucumber, finely chopped
- 2 limes, juiced
- 2 pinches of salt, to taste
In a medium bowl, combine the tomatoes, onion, cilantro, jalapeño, cucumber, and salt. Stir in lemon juice and taste! Make adjustments as necessary.
If you like more of a spice add more jalapeño. Variations of the recipe can include radishes and avocado. You can really make it your own.
Once made, you can let the chimol stand in the fridge for 15 minutes to really blend the flavors, or if you’re like me you won’t wait and you’ll just dive right in with a Good Health chip as soon as it’s done!