ANNATTO (ACHIOTE) SEEDS
Annato is a seed from ‘Axiote Tree’, has peppery scent with slightly bitter sweet flavor. Produces reddish yellow color, commonly used to color soups, rice and meat.
The seeds are not edible. Make Annatto oil before using as flavor & food colorant.
To make oil: Mix ¼ cup Annatto seeds and 2 cups olive oil in a saucepan, apply medium heat, turn off the heat when bubbles starts to form around Annatto seeds (do not overcook, may turn bitter). Allow to cool, strain the Annatto oil, transfer to a container, refrigerate until ready to use.
To make paste: Put the Annatto oil in a blender, add 1/2 fresh lime juice, 2tsp oregano,1 ½ fresh minced garlic, 1/4tsp salt and 1/4tsp ground cumin. Process until a smooth paste, keep covered in the refrigerator until ready to use.