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The Chaya,
a big gift from the Mayas to the world
(snacks made out of

One big contribution from the Mayan culture to the world has been with out achaya.jpg (52587 bytes) 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.

dzoto.jpg (23193 bytes)Chaya Snacks

The ingredients
(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.

crepas.jpg (18268 bytes)The ingredients

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 veru thin.

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.

By: Cityview

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