The Yucatecan Papadzules

The Papadzules is a traditional dish from the mayan cuisine, from the Yucatan States in Mexico. The name's origin, according to some Mayan culture specialists, means the food of love (the Mayan word papa means food, and dzul, love). Papadzules is a fairly simple dish to make, consisting of corn tortillas dipped in a pumpkin seeds sauce, then filled with hard boiled eggs (a bit like enchiladas) and finally served in a tomato sauce with onions and spicy habanero chiles. They can then be decorated with finely chopped red onions and minced habanero chile. This dish is well known in the three states of the peninsula: Yucatan, Campeche and Quintana Roo, but aside from these mexican states, the Papadzules are relatively unknown. I would urge caution against using habanero chiles; I recommend using any red chile you are used to.

Mexican recipe for Papadzules

Ingredients for 4-6 spicy mayan food lovers:

• 24 corn tortillas
• 1 lb. pumpkin seeds, peeled
• 8 eggs
• 7 large red tomatoes
• 1/2 onion
• 1 clove garlic
• 2-3 chiles Fresno, amount to taste (Habanero for major hotness)
• 5 leaves epazote


1) Hard boil the eggs, once ready allow them to cool down. Peel the eggs and separate yolks and whites; mash the whites and yolks coarsely with a fork. Reserve

2) Let's now turn to the sauce: in just enough water to cover, gently boil the tomatoes first to remove their skin, then cut them into quarters and remove their seeds. In the water where you boiled the tomatoes, put: chopped onion, seeded chiles (habaneros), red tomatoes, garlic and epazote, add a little salt water and boil until the vegetables are cooked.

3) Allow what we did in step 2 to cool down, strain and blend it all without adding water. Adjust seasoning and add water if necessary. Do not throw the cooking water.

4) Meanwhile, grill the pumpkin seeds without letting them brown, and then add them to the water into which the tomatoes were cooked; blend to form a thick, cream-like paste.

5) Heat up the tortillas, dip them in the pumpkin seeds cream, fill them with the mashed whites and yolks, then arrange them on the serving plate folded in two or rolled and brush with more pumpkin seed cream and pour some hot tomato sauce over.

6) Decorate each finished plate by sprinkling some very finely chopped onions, some chile pieces and more mashed eggs over the papadzules.

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