I'd like to replicate a salsa I encountered in a restaurant in Cozumel. Maybe it's a Yucatecan thing? When I asked the waiter what was in it, he said habanero, oil, garlic, onion (?), and hierba de olor. It had a very pale green color, thick consistency, smooth texture, and visibly contained lots of tiny seeds. It was seemingly an oil emulsion, but what acts as the emulsifier--the habanero?--and what are the steps to get it to emulsify? As for the hierba de olor, I tried to ask him exactly WHICH of the several herbs (and combinations thereof) that go by that name it might be, but I don't think he could give me anything more specific than "hierba de olor." Does "hierba de olor" in some regional Mexican culinary vocabulary refer to a specific plant? I asked if it was basil (albahaca)--"no." I asked if it was thyme (tomillo)--again, "no." It did not taste/smell like oregano or cilantro. It was a very mild herbal flavor/scent, which I found very pleasant. I asked if it contained both the seeds AND the leaves, and he said it did. The owners of the restaurant are from Jalisco. Can anyone shed some light on my mystery salsa?
Some Googling reveals a Yucatecan plant called chaya. Could that be it? But really, with Cozumel being such a melting pot, it could be from anywhere.