a big gift from the Mayas to the world
(snacks made out of Chaya)
One big contribution from the Mayan culture to the world
has been with out a doubt the use of the Chaya Leaves, a singular vegetable.
As food and as medicine, it brings big benefits to the human organism. Some of them is
to improve the blood circulation, help digestion, improve vision, disinflame veins and
hemorrhoids, help lower cholesterol, help reduce weight, prevent coughs, increases calcium
in the bones, decongest and disinfect the lungs, prevent anemia by replacing iron in the
blood, improve memory and brain functions and combat arthritis and diabetes.
The chaya is also richier in iron than the spinach and it's a powerful calcium and
potassium source. It grows easily and it's a beautiful plant that can adorn any garden. It
limits itself to about six feet in height.
In the Yucatan penninsula, it is very easy to find, because it is sold in almost every
market or grocery store, it's botanical name is Cnidoscolus Chayamansa.
It can be consumed in many ways, as its leaf is very soft, it can be add to soup,
casseroles, scramble eggs, bread, spaghetti sauces and salads without affecting the
taste.To get better results, it should be cooked long and slow.
A delicious way of drinking it, is in a cold or hot tea.
(about 30 pieces)
½ kilogram of chaya leaves, 1 kilogram of fine
tortilla mass, 125 grams of pig shortening, salt, 1 package of banana leaves (about 6
leaves), 250 grams of toasted and milled pumpkin seed, 6 chopped boild eggs.
Sauce: 1 tomato kilogram , 1 small chopped onion,
1 pig shortening tablespoon or corn oil, and a pinch of salt.
The chaya has to be soaked in hot water to get softer,
then has to be fine chopped, and mixed with the mass, the shortening and the salt. The
banana leaves should be cut in rectangles of 15 cms by 25 cms. then a little portion of
the mixed mass should be placed on the center and covered with a thin layer of milled
seeds and other of the chopped eggs, then they can get involve with the banana leave,
first the larger sides go to the center and then the other ones, forming a rectangular
package. They should be placed in a steam pot and cooked by 1 ½ hours, they vave to be
served with a red tomato sauce.
The sauce: After being boiled, the
tomatos had to be peeled and milled. The onion had to be little bit fried in the
shortening and added to the tomatos and salt.
How to serve them
They can be served with out the banana leave on a plate
and with the red saucee or in its leaves with the sauce in a small separated pot.
For the creps: 50 grams of melted butter, 6
eggs, ¾ cup of sifted flour, ½ cup of milk, ¼ cup of beer, salt and 20 grams of butter
for the pan.
The stuff: ½ kilogram of chaya leaves, 1 fine
chopped onion, 4 tablespoons of de olive oil, 1 tooth of pressed garlic, 2
tablespoons of soya sauce, ¼ cup of cream, salt y pepper.
The white sauce: 4 tablespoons of butter, 2
tablespoons of flour, 2 milk cups, 1 cup of boiled chaya, chopped and squeezed, salt and
pepper, 150 grams of grated gruyere chees.For four servings.
How to prepared them
The creps: All the
ingredients had to be mixed and licued, and should be leaved to rest for 30 minutes, the
creps had to be made in a small pan with a thin layer of butter, adding the mix with
a tablespoon and moving very fast the pan in circles, then turn them over, they had to be
Stuff: The chaya has to be
soaked in hot water to get alittle cook, then take it out and chopped it. The onion
has to be fried in olive oil, then add the chaya, the soya sauce and cooked by one minute,
then add cream, salt and pepper.
Sauce: The flour has to be
fried with the butter for a minute, then add the chaya, hot milk, salt and pepper, and
leaved two minutes in the pan until it get thicker.
How to serve it
The creps are filled and placed in a refractary, covering then with the
white sauce and with the cheese at the top, then put them in the oven for few minutes.