Achiote paste, a thick, deep-red seasoning also known as recado colorado, originated in the Yucatán region of Mexico. It is best rubbed on chicken, pork, fish, or seafood, to which it imparts a deep-red color and warm, mild flavor. Ready-made achiote paste is sold under several brand names and need only be mixed with bitter orange juice, lime juice, or vinegar before use.

  • Yield: 2 cups

Ingredients (9)

  • 1/2 cup annatto seeds (or 3 tablespoons annatto powder)
  • 10 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup bitter (Seville) orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 6 allspice berries
  • 3 cloves


  1. Crush annatto seeds in a mortar, or use annatto powder. Toast garlic on a griddle until charred, then peel. Process the garlic and bitter (Seville) orange juice (or 1/2 cup each orange juice and lime juice) to a fine paste. Using a mortar and pestle or spice grinder, grind coriander seed, kosher salt, cumin seed, black peppercorns, allspice berries, and cloves. Stir the annatto and the spices into the garlic paste. Transfer to a glass jar and store refrigerated up to 2 months.