Mexican Pumpkin Seed Paté (Sikil Pak)

Makes about 2 cups

Raw pumpkin seeds undergo a remarkable transformation in this fascinating pale green salsa with a paté-like consistency. Sikil pak is an uncommon Mexican salsa that’s there for you when you want something that’s not the usual tomato salsa or guacamole; or serve it with both of them for an intriguing trio of starters to munch while sipping margaritas. Sikil pak can be further thinned with water for a light crema for drizzling on tacos or enchiladas.


1 cup raw, hulled pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
2 garlic clove, peeled and roughly chopped
1 small sweet white onion, peeled and roughly diced

¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

1/4 cup water

2 tablespoons lime juice

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Tortilla chips, cherry tomatoes, and slices of radish for dipping


1. Cover the pumpkin seeds with hot water and soak for 2 hours or overnight. Pour the seeds into a metal sieve to drain, and shake well to eliminate any excess water.

2. Pour seeds into a food processor and add remaining ingredients, except for the tortilla chips. Pulse into a coarse paste, stopping frequently to push the paste down the sides of food processor bowl with a rubber spatula. Depending on your food processor it may take anywhere from 2 to 5 minutes, but continue to pulse until the paste has the consistency of a thick, grainy hummus. Taste the sikal pak and add a little more salt or lime juice to taste if desired. Serve at room temperature with tortilla chips, cherry tomatoes, and radishes.