Recipe book of Traditional Totonac Cuisine

They are the recipients of the spiritual truths conveyed by the smoke; they are the ones who, from the stove, preserve gastronomy.

Alimentos que Curan by Alejandra CerdeñoCentro de las Artes Indígenas y Mujeres de Humo

Blessings

The offering is very important so that all year round, we have enough to eat. The offerings are essential, as they are a thanks to the saints, who allow us to work well and give us another day to live together and cook.

The legacy of Indigenous cultures

The knowledge is passed down from generation to generation and is used to cure illnesses or treat symptoms in a natural way. Women have been the main conveyors; spiritual masters capable of healing with their intuition and deep wisdom.

Alimentos que sanan by Alejandra CerdeñoCentro de las Artes Indígenas y Mujeres de Humo

Foods that heal

Annona. Seasonal fruit that, in the Totonac communities, is given to children to make them smart and strong. It is used to help in the treatment of diabetes, heart issues, high blood pressure, tuberculosis, arthritis, rheumatism, infections and depression.

FOOD IS IMPORTANT and in our daily lives, we care for it. In the communities, we highly respect the task of cooking, which starts with cleaning the space and blessing the stove so that our work is good. Everything is blessed and permission is asked. For that reason, the food we consume is a ritual food, because everyday an offering is made at the altar and we cook with respect. Later, we consume what we prepare.

In general, the blessing is done in the morning. Very early, we say good morning, thank God and the elements of nature for giving us the opportunity to wake up and see the light of the sunrise. Then we bless the stove so that the food we will consume is well cooked and so that it isn't just enough for us, but also for the people who visit us—so that we can share it. 

Bollitos de anis, Alejandra Cerdeño, From the collection of: Centro de las Artes Indígenas y Mujeres de Humo
Show lessRead more

BOLLITOS DE ANIS (ANISE BREAD)<br>Mix the dough mixture, honey, lard, baking powder and anise. Beat frequently. Wash the corn husk and form the bollitos in the shape of small buns: shape them with your hands and place them in the tamalera. Bake for 20 minutes

Vainilla sagrada, dulces secretos familiares by Alejandra CerdeñoCentro de las Artes Indígenas y Mujeres de Humo

BOLLITOS DE ANIS

1 kg dry dough mixture
1/2 tablespoon of honey
250 g of butter
1 teaspoon of baking powder
One piece of anise
20 corn husks (totomoxtle)

Bollitos de Anís

Los bocoles en preparación, Alejandra Cerdeño, From the collection of: Centro de las Artes Indígenas y Mujeres de Humo
Show lessRead more

BOCOLES (CORN MASA CAKES) Mix the masa with lard and salt. Put the comal over the fire. Once hot, make the bocoles. They can be filled with cheese, chorizo, potato or beans.

Bocoles by Alejandra CerdeñoCentro de las Artes Indígenas y Mujeres de Humo

Bocoles

1/2 kg of masa
50 g of lard
Salt

Mujer de humo, preparando tamal de fiesta, Alejandra Cerdeño, From the collection of: Centro de las Artes Indígenas y Mujeres de Humo
Show lessRead more

The tide of tradition

RECIPE: Pescado a la Vainilla (Vanilla fish). Clean the fish well, add salt and lemon to taste: chop and mix the green onion, chiltepín, cilantro, vanilla and tomato (seeds removed). On a banana leaf, place a layer of the chopped vegetables, then a piece of fish and, finally, another layer of vegetables. Tie up the leaf. Place directly on the stove and cover with hot ash for 10 minutes.

Mujer de humo, preparando tamal de fiesta by Alejandra CerdeñoCentro de las Artes Indígenas y Mujeres de Humo

Pescado a la vainilla

10 servings
10 thick slices of fish, 150 g per slice
2 green onions
25 g green chiltepin chili
5 sprigs criollo cilantro
7 1/2 vanilla pods
750 g small green tomatoes
10 banana leaves
Salt and lemon

Atolli. Atole de maíz morado, Alejandra Cerdeño, From the collection of: Centro de las Artes Indígenas y Mujeres de Humo
Show lessRead more

A common belief regarding Atole: Atole is very delicate, especially purple atole. When you're making it, you have to be in a good mood and calm. Your body must also be clean. If, while you're making it, your child becomes fussy, you get in a bad mood or distracted, the atole becomes diluted, that is, there is more water and less corn.

RECIPE:
Purple corn atole.
Soak the corn for 12 to 24 hours. Grind it in the metate or mill until it is half ground. Allow it to rest for one day or one night. Once it is tart, pass it through the metate again until is is finely ground. Pour it into a container. Mix well and cook. Empty it into a clay pot. Place it over a fire and stir constantly. When it is about to boil, add the panela and let cook.

Atole can be made with pumpkin, coconut, pineapple, tart, tamarind, mango, banana, cinnamon lemon, orange, vanilla, Northern-style, etc.

Atolli. Atole de maíz morado by Alejandra CerdeñoCentro de las Artes Indígenas y Mujeres de Humo

Purple corn ATOLE

10 servings
1 kg purple corn
4 to 5 L water
1 piece of panela

Dulces secretos familiares by Alejandra CerdeñoCentro de las Artes Indígenas y Mujeres de Humo

CHOCOLATE

(10 SERVINGS)
1 kg cacao
1 kg sugar
5 toasted and ground cloves
1 cooked egg yolk
Lime leaves
6 cups water
2 vanilla beans

Fluir de las enseñanzas, Alejandra Cerdeño, From the collection of: Centro de las Artes Indígenas y Mujeres de Humo
Show lessRead more

The All Saints offering, which is given on November 1 and 2, in honor of the dead. After four days, tamales are offered, and after eight days (which is called "la octava" meaning "the eighth"), mole is offered. We believe that after eight days, the dead take their belongings. They start to pack their itacate (knapsack) to take it along with them on their journey.

Superalimentos en la cocina tradicional indígena. by Alejandra CerdeñoCentro de las Artes Indígenas y Mujeres de Humo

SUMMER SQUASH TAMALES WITH SHRIMP

2 summer squash (regular size)
30 plantain leaves
250 g sesame seeds
3 medium-sized, ripe tomatoes
1/2 kg dried shrimp
2 kg tamale masa
Salt
Water

Cazuela al fuego by Alejandra CerdeñoCentro de las Artes Indígenas y Mujeres de Humo

CANDIED PUMPKIN

500 g chopped pumpkin
1 cup water
1/2 kg piloncillo
1 banana leaf

RECIPE: CANDIED PUMPKIN.
Steam the pumpkin or put it in a casserole dish or pan, if you want to keep it simple, or boil with piloncillo and water. Cover with a banana leaf.
Piloncillo is also called panela and is obtained by evaporating sugar cane juice, which crystallizes. In our country, it is used to prepare beverages, sauces for stews, canned fruits and vegetables, and pastries, among other things. It is also used to relieve stomach ailments caused by the common cold.

Planta exquisita, Alejandra Cerdeño, From the collection of: Centro de las Artes Indígenas y Mujeres de Humo
Show lessRead more

How can you eat it if it's a flower? Flowers are nutritious!

Giant yucca flower soup
Trim the yucca flower, removing its center. Only use the petals for cooking: boil four times, then cook in the water used for the last boiling session. When it is about to boil, add the tomato and chili. Remove the oil from the pumpkin seeds and make little ear shapes. Add them when the broth is fully boiling. Add the cilantro and epazote. Season with salt.

Planta exquisita by Alejandra CerdeñoCentro de las Artes Indígenas y Mujeres de Humo

Giant yucca flower soup

RECIPE:   
10 servings
1 medium bunch of giant yucca flower
4 1/2 L water
259 g crushed tomato
100 g jalapeño
500 g toasted and ground pumpkin seed
1 medium bunch of cilantro
1 medium bunch of epazote
Salt

Night flower

Night flower, your scent begins, when the night begins,
they begin to make my bed and you perfume my blanket. Night tree. How do you know that I arrive home exhausted?
At night your flowers perfume me,
like the woman I love.
Who, during the day, works at home,
to leave it clean and wait for me,
with her tasty stews,
and a fragrant atole.

Juan Tiburcio

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
Stories from Centro de las Artes Indígenas y Mujeres de Humo
Explore more
Google apps