|Annatto seeds come from the fruit of the annatto tree, an evergreen native to Mexico, Latin America, and the Caribbean. In these regions it is used as both a spice and a colorant, adding a golden-orange color to the dishes in which it appears. In Puerto Rico it is used to color the oil in which rice is cooked; in northern Mexico it is used to make achiote, a paste for marinating meat, fish, and poultry; in Yucatan, it is used as a dye for cloth. |
To make achiote paste, combine INDIA TREE Annatto Seeds with Mexican oregano, cumin seeds, peppercorns, and whole allspice. Grind this mixture in an electric spice/coffee grinder, sift and grind again. Add only enough water to the ground spices to make a paste.
||Store in the freezer. To use, crush a small amount of paste with garlic and sea salt, thin with mild vinegar or bitter orange juice. Allow the meat to marinate in this mixture for 1 or 2 hours, or overnight, before roasting or grilling.
Heat INDIA TREE Annatto Seeds in oil, then use the oil to add aroma and color to a chicken dish; grind them with other spices and add to a slow cooking Mexican bean dish; grind them to powder and whisk into a grilled tofu marinade.