Eight months before my son was born, I was working on a project in Colombia. One evening, my local host took me and the team to a Parrillada in the hills overlooking Bogata. The meat was awesome, but the salsas that accompanied the meat were mind-blowing. This is one of those salsas.Here's a recipe for Hogao, as commonly prepared in the Bogota region of Colombia:
- 1 saucepan
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp achiote annatto powder or paprika
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp ground coriander optional
- 4 large tomatoes (chopped)
- 4 large spring onions (finely chopped)
- 4 clove garlic minced
- 4 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp rock salt
- 1 tsp Sazón mix
- ½ ground black pepper
- ¼ cup fresh coriander leaves (chopped)
Prepare the Sazon mix
- In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients thoroughly.
- Mix well until all the spices are evenly distributed.
- Store the sazón in an airtight container or a sealed jar for future use.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Add the chopped onions and garlic, and sauté until the onions become translucent and the garlic is fragrant.
- Add the tomatoes to the skillet and cook for about 10-15 minutes, or until they have softened and released their juices.
- Stir in the ground cumin, salt, and black pepper, and mix well with the tomato mixture.
- Reduce the heat to low and let the mixture simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the chopped cilantro during the last few minutes of cooking.
- Once the hogao has thickened and the flavors have melded together, remove it from the heat and let it cool slightly before serving.
Hogao is a versatile and essential Colombian sauce that adds depth and flavor to various dishes. It can be served with arepas, empanadas, grilled meats, and other Colombian specialties, adding a delightful taste of Bogota's culinary heritage.