First, I don't know if there is an official definition for mexican "salsa", "salsa" is a liquid mixture of ingredients, hot or cold. According to the National Institute of Anthropology and History in Mexico, the salsa among Mexican people is a symbol of identity and indispensable part of our food. Popular knowledge says that a salsa that is not spicy is not a salsa.
Among all the salsas I've taste and made so far I can tell that the core ingredients are:
- Tomates verdes (green tomatoes) or regular tomatoes (red)
We can say this are the very core ingredients in a salsa.
We need to talk about recipes if we want to know if it's cheaper to do or to buy salsa. First, we can say they're three types of salsas according to the way they are prepared:
- Boiled ingredients
- Fried ingredients
- Fresh ingredients
We can say that salsas that are made with fresh ingredients are cheaper, but it depends on the ingredients that you can add to the core ingredients mentioned before. Some of the ingredients you can add to your salsa are:
- Avocado (which is expensive)
- variety of spices
- orange juice or lemon juice
But generally I think that, wether it's cheaper or not it's definitely a better taste in homemade salsas.
First you need a blender and a cooking pot for fried and/or boiled ingredients.
For example you can use the Core Ingredients to make a salsa in three different ways:
you put onions choped, garlic and tomatoes (red/green) and chile (can be dried chile or fresh chile) in a pan without water or oil and you just wait the ingredients to turn a little burned. Then mix them in the blender to have a more traditional sauce.
You can put onions choped, garlic and tomatoes (green) and chile in a pan with oil and fry all the ingredients and then when they turn pale you blend them (be careful you need to wait until the ingredients are cooled before you blend them otherwise the blend would explode with salsa all over your face) this get's you a smoother salsa.
The other option is chop all the ingredients in dice an mixed them and you have a kind of pico de gallo which can be considered as a fresh salsa.
I usually store my salsas in the refrigerator for about one or one and a half week, but they do not last to much because we ate them all, and also is always better to have fresh salsa.