Recipe of the ancestral and delicious quetzalteco chok’a

“Chok’a is considered the ancestor of the pepianes and it is believed that it is the basis of this type of errand that is consumed today in Guatemala. It is prepared with pork, chicken or beef. This traditional gastronomic delight is originally from Almolonga, Quetzaltenango, and is distinguished from other errands by using only squash and pepitoria seeds. In addition, it is almost white, compared to others, which tend to be reddish in color ”, explains chef Jaikin Verón, gastronomy instructor at the Technical Training Institute in Coatepeque, Quetzaltenango.

“It is not common to find this dish in dining rooms or restaurants, since it is customary to serve it only in ceremonial activities, such as the festival in honor of San Pedro Apóstol, which is celebrated every June 29, the patron saint of said municipality, or at home, during some special celebration, so it is not known outside the place “, explains the chef.

“A K’iche ‘message of great delicacy is the chok’a, from the Quetzaltecan area of ​​Cantel, Almolonga and Zunil. It is made with pepitoria, sesame, garlic, onion, guaque pepper, tomato and plinted, a spice similar to pepper ”, explains Luis Villar Anleu in his work Guatemalan popular cuisine. Myths, facts and anecdotes, Editorial Universitaria. “Rich heritage of pre-Hispanic cuisine is thickening with pepitoria or ground squash seed,” he adds.

The pepitoria is. source of protein, vitamin K, iron, copper and magnesium and rich in fiber and omega-3; tomato, which only gives us 22 kcal. per 100 g and is an excellent source of vitamins C and B, potassium and phosphorus, and onion, allied to fight flu and bronchitis. Therefore, this dish, like most of our traditional food, is very tasty and nutritious, adds Jaikin.

“In addition, it integrates many of the ingredients that have been the basis of our diet for centuries and that characterize our culinary culture,” asserts the chef.

“It is an ideal dish to consume on a Sunday at family gatherings, common in our culture, accompanied by a delicious rice with vegetables, white tamales, wrapped in cornfield leaves, and a refreshing fruit broth,” he adds. “Chok’a is a dish that evokes our childhood, embraces the soul and brings fond memories to our memory, thanks to its unmistakable flavor and those delicious aromas that its preparation gives us,” says the chef, who began to be interested in gastronomy 10 years ago, influenced by his maternal grandmother and mother.

“I admire the Mexican chef Adrián Herrera, for his extravagant taste, from whom I have learned to be self-taught to keep up to date with the latest trends, gastronomic techniques and innovation, and the great master of Guatemalan gastronomy, chef Humberto Domínguez, as well as he, I seek to elevate our national identity through our food ”, points out Jaikin.

Ingredients

2 pounds of pork post
2 pounds chicken breasts
3 liters of water
12 ounces pumpkin seed
3 ounces sesame
3 tomatoes
1/2 pound onion
3 garlic cloves
6 Castile peppers
1/8 teaspoon cumin
1/8 of a cinnamon stick
1 guaque chili pepper and a green chocolate chili
Salt to taste and vegetable oil

Preparation

Cut meats into four-ounce portions and cook in separate pots, covering with half the water; season with salt. To the pork, add the tomato, half the onion and the two chilies. Bring the two pots of meat to a boil for about 45 minutes or until soft. While they are ready, toast the garlic, squash seeds, sesame, castile pepper, cumin, the rest of the onion and cinnamon, in a frying pan without oil, Set aside.

When the meats are ready, add a little of the bottom – broth – from cooking to the roasted ingredients along with the chilies, tomato and onion that were cooked with the pork, so that they soften, for 10 minutes, so that are easier to grind. Blend until you get a thick and homogeneous paste.

Finally, in a frying pan, place oil and fry the meats to give them a golden color. Add the previously blended recado and the fried meats to the rest of the bottom and boil for 15 more minutes. Serve with rice and white tamales.

Also read: Special pepián with gnocchi

Chef Profile

  • Jaikin Alexéi Verón has experience in different areas of gastronomy.
  • He graduated as an international cook from the Technical Training Institute (Intecap).
  • She worked as a kitchen and events assistant at Casa de Eventos La Rosa de Madera.
  • He was a hot and cold food cook at the Crowne Plaza Guatemala Hotel, and was head chef at the Mestizos restaurant.
  • Also, he was a cook at the Courtyard by Marriot Hotel.
  • Currently, he is a partner and administrator of Thai ice cream and rollipop shakes, in Coatepeque, and a gastronomy instructor at Intecap, in said municipality.

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