Sikil P’ak Recipe (Pumpkin Seed Salsa): An Amazing Mexican Dip From the Yucatan Appetizers Snacks

Donna John
a year ago

The first time I had sikil p’ak was in Progreso, Mexico. The small beachside town was a port-of-call on the cruise we were on, and we wandered down the beach and ended up at a tiny Mexican restaurant. We started talking to the owners, and before we knew it, the table was covered with samples of dishes they wanted us to try. My favorite was the sikil p’ak, which is a dip made from raw pumpkin seeds.

Sikil p’ak is a classic Mayan dish. It can be made chunkier or smooth and creamy. Regardless of the texture, the flavor is outstanding. As with any recipe, there are variations and different families all have their special ways of preparing it. For example, some use red tomatoes, some tomatillos. Some use habanero, some use jalapeno. The Mexican appetizer can be served with tortilla chips, bread, crackers, vegetables and plantain chips.

Cuisine: Mexican (Mayan / Yucatan) 
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 8


  • 3/4 cup pepitas (raw pumpkin seeds) 
  • 4 tomatillos, husks removed and washed
  • 2 shallots, peeled  
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 jalapeño, stem removed
  • 2 cups cilantro leaves and tender stems, roughly chopped
  • 2 teaspoons lime zest
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice   

Here's how to make it: 

  1. Put the pepitas into a dry skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring often, until they begin to lightly brown, about 5 minutes. (Save a few for garnish.) Put them into a food processor or blender and pulse until finely ground. 
  2. Put the tomatoes, shallots, garlic and jalapeno into the skillet. Cook, turning often, until charred, about 5 minutes. Remove to cool. 
  3. Put the cilantro, lime zest and juice into the blender with the pepitas. Season with salt and pepper. Pulse until cilantro in incorporated. 
  4. Add the charred vegetables and pulse until smooth, scraping down the sides often. Add more salt and pepper, if needed. (If you want a looser dip, add a little water and/or more lime juice.) 

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Comments (3)

Elisa Schmitz
This looks so delicious, Donna John . I love trying new international dishes. Thanks for sharing the yum!
Savory side or appetizer.
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