Homemade Chamoy Recipe

“Mexico in a condiment” is how I describe this easy homemade Chamoy Recipe. The combination of heat (chipotle), sweet (fresh apricots and piloncillo), and tart (tamarind and lime) is absolutely addicting! At its simplest, pour it over fresh fruit or veggies, but don’t stop there… Glaze fish or chicken, add it to a vinaigrette, make paletas. It’s versatile, quick and easy to make, vegan, gluten free, and delicious!

A glass cruet of my homemade chamoy recipe on a bright print napkin.
Fresh apricot chamoy recipe!

👩🏻‍🍳 Tamara Talks – What is Chamoy?

If you have seen store-bought chamoy, be forewarned! It is probably full of high fructose corn syrup and preservatives. YUCK! So, just don’t go there…

A list of ingredients for store-bought chamoy including high fructose corn syrup, citric acid, xanthan gum, sodium citrate, acetic acid, and sodium benzoate.

Chamoy is a quintessential Mexican condiment with heavy Asian influences (think sweet and sour sauce). This Mexican condiment has its roots in a Chinese snack – a salty-sweet dried fruit called see mui. It only became popular in Mexico in the 1990s, but it took off in the younger generation among native Mexicans.

Not all chefs and food professionals appreciate chamoy, and much of it is so heavily processed. However, many of these chefs are taking the basic flavor combination, and coming up with their own riffs. In this spirit, I decided to create my own!

From the research I did on chamoy recipes, apricots and plums seem to be the most common fruits. Preserves or jam appear more often in recipes than fresh fruit. I’m always one to use ingredients closest to the source, so that is where I landed. If you can’t get decent fresh apricots, see the Tips section for substituting preserves.

🍑 Is Chamoy Healthy?

Compared to store-bought chamoy? A resounding YES! Commercial chamoy is often heavy on ingredients like high fructose corn syrup, sodium, and preservatives. When you make it at home, you have control over how much sugar you use, the quality of the ingredients, the amount of sodium, and of course, you won’t be using shelf stabilizing preservatives. The fresh fruit, chiles, raw sugar, etc. provide that addictive sweet, salt, tart combination without the bad stuff!

I would not suggest drinking a bottle of it… Think of it like hot sauce. It’s a condiment and a flavor enhancer.

📋 Ingredients Notes

Ingredients for the chamoy sauce recipe on a wood cutting board - apricots, limes, tamarind, salt, chipotles, piloncillo.
  • apricots – I wrote this homemade chamoy recipe to use fresh apricots (it was apricot season). However, it will still be delicious if you substitute preserves or dried apricots.
  • chipotles in adobo – Chipotles are smoked jalapeños, and their smoky flavor adds complexity to the finished chamoy. You can substitute dried and rehydrated red chiles.
  • tamarind paste – Tamarind paste is available in International foods sections of many larger markets, and online. You can also make it from dried pods or paste.
  • limes
  • sugar – Piloncillo is my preference, but turbinado or brown sugar are good substitutes.
  • sea salt
A food processor with ingredients for chamoy prior to processing.
The puréed chamoy sauce mixture in the food processor.
  1. Process the ingredients – Add ingredients to the bowl of a food processor or a blender. Pulse until smooth.
  2. Cook down the chamoy – Pour the chamoy ingredients into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil then simmer 10 minutes. Cool before adding to an airtight container.
The homemade chamoy ingredients in a saucepan just as it comes to a boil.
The finished homemade chamoy before it is poured into a glass cruet.

This recipe is flexible, and should be adjusted to your tastebuds. Chipotles bring the smoky heat that we love, and with 8 apricots, we find 3 chipotles about right. If you’re sensitive to heat level, start on the low end and add. Similarly, add sweetness, salt, and acid (limes and tamarind paste) to taste.

Can I substitute for the fresh apricots?

Many recipes for homemade chamoy use preserves. Choose one with no added sugar, and as natural as possible. Use 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups. Add sugar a little at a time as the preserves will be sweeter than fresh fruit. Conversely, try rehydrating 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 pounds of dried apricots. Drain water before adding them to the processor. You could also use fresh peaches, plums, or mangoes.

What is piloncillo sugar?

Piloncillo is a raw form of pure cane sugar that is very common in Mexican cooking. We love it at Andersen casa! The flavor is similar to molasses. Brown sugar is a decent substitute.

How long can I keep my chamoy?

Because homemade chamoy has no preservatives, I keep it in my refrigerator up to a month. Otherwise, I freeze it in zip bags.

I am really excited about creating some healthyish recipes for using your homemade chamoy – a glazed salmon, paletas, perhaps a cocktail. In the simplest application, try it on fresh fruit. We love chamoy on pineapple and melon especially! In the meantime, check out the list down below the recipe for a few ideas!

Signature in red and green with chiles and limes. Healthyish Latin cuisine.
A cruet of chamoy sauce behind a mini paella pan with fresh pineapple chunks drizzled with the sauce.
Chamoy sauce is fantastic on fresh pineapple, and many other fresh fruits!

📖 Recipe

Feature image of homemade chamoy in a glass cruet with a print napkin and a grey background.

Homemade Chamoy Recipe

This Mexican condiment is an addicting combination of sweet (apricots and piloncillo), tart (tamarind paste), and spicy (chipotle).
4.86 from 7 votes

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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Condiment
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 32
Calories 53 kcal

Ingredients
  

Instructions

  • Process the ingredients – Add ingredients to the bowl of a food processor or a blender. Pulse until smooth.
  • Cook down the chamoy – Pour the chamoy ingredients into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil then simmer 10 minutes. Cool before adding to an airtight container.

Nutrition

Serving: 1tablespoon | Calories: 53kcal

NOTE: Macronutrients are an approximation only using unbranded ingredients and MyFitnessPal.com. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

Did you make this recipe? Please leave a comment and/or star rating! Email us with any questions: tamara@beyondmeresustenance.com

Recipes That Use Chamoy

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3 Comments

  1. We were so excited as we had everything in our pantry to make this delicious must have summer condiment. Fantastic over grilled chicken and great as delicious salad dressing. Love that little sweet, spicy and sour flavor.

  2. I can already taste the sweet, spicy, and smokey in this sauce. The apricots got frozen here this year with a late freeze, but I’m assuming I could use frozen apricots. thanks for sharing this. Happy 4th Tamara!

    1. Bummer that the apricots froze, but yes, frozen apricots will be fine. You can also use apricot preserves, but that requires less sugar! Happy 4th to you MJ!