Achiote Paste recipe

This traditional Mexican paste originated in the Yucatan area of Mexico, and is used as a rub for pork, chicken and fish, although you could also use it as a seasoning agent in stews to give food a warm, spicy flavour and background depth.


  • 5 tbsp. annatto/achiote seeds
  • 8 whole allspice berries
  • 1 tbsp. black peppercorns
  • 2 tbsp. salt
  • 8 cloves of garlic
  • 3 habanero chillies
  • 2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. whole cloves
  • 110ml orange juice
  • 110ml white wine vinegar
  • Juice of five lemons
  • 1 tsp. tequila


  1. In a spice grinder, grind the annatto seeds, cumin seeds, peppercorns, cloves and allspice berries to a fine powder.

  2. In a blender, blitz the spices, chillies, garlic, orange juice, vinegar and salt. Once smooth, mix in the lemon juice and tequila.

  3. Put the paste into a jar and place into the cupboard until ready to use.

Allspice berries and annatto seeds can be bought from online if you cannot find them in your local shops. This recipe makes roughly eight portions of achiote paste.

Recipe Details:

  • Author: Laura Young.
  • Published:

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