pumpkin seed dip (sikil pak)

photo by Jennifer Johnson 

2 cups pumpkin seeds
3 Roma tomatoes
1/2 medium white onion, unpeeled and cut in half
1 small habanero, cut in half and seeded
3 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1/3 cup water  
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice  
2 teaspoons sea salt
3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
Tortilla chips, for serving  
Fresh peeled and sliced jicama, optional, for serving  
Fresh sliced cucumber, optional, for serving 

  1. Heat a dry cast iron pan over medium heat. Add pumpkin seeds and toast until lightly browned, about 10 minutes (stir as they toast and keep watch on them). Transfer to a food processor and process until finely ground. Transfer ground seeds to a large bowl and set aside.
  2. Place cast iron pan back over medium heat. Add tomatoes, onion, habanero, and garlic to pan and cook until charred, about 10 minutes, turning occasionally as they cook. Remove and allow to cool. Peel onion and garlic and transfer to food processor along with tomatoes, habanero, water, lime and orange juice, and salt. Process until well combined (you should have 2 cups when finished; if not, add more water).
  3. Slowly add 3/4 of purée to seeds, stirring to combine. Allow mixture to rest for 5-10 minutes (seeds will absorb liquid and thicken dip) Add remaining purée and stir. Add chives and cilantro. Taste for seasoning and adjust as desired. Serve with tortilla chips, jicama, and cucumber (if using) for dipping.

Serves 6-8.

cook’s note: If mixture isn’t smooth enough after you’ve added in seeds, transfer entire mixture back to a food processor (or blender) and purée until desired texture, adding in more water to blend if needed.