Pepian recipe from “Para Chuparse Los Dedos”

A white dish with half rice and half dark chocolate colored meat stew next to the rice.
Pepian, a Guatemalan meat stew. Photo courtesy of “Para Chuparse Los Dedos.”

A Guatemalan by Vilma Morales-Garcia from Para Chuparse Los Dedos.

Read the article by Marabet Morales about the new Central American-focused cookbook and oral history project.


Serves 10 


5 pounds of chicken (can be any part of the chicken you prefer)

½ cup of green pumpkin seeds

½ cup of sesame seed

2 red bell peppers 

8 green tomatoes 

5 roma tomatoes 

8 garlic cloves 

2 dehydrated chili chilacas or chili poblano 

2 chili guaques 

4 spoonfuls of chicken broth powder

¼ teaspoon of salt 

½ onion 

6 cups of water 

¼ piece of “La abuelita” chocolate (optional) 


Grill the vegetables:

Grill the green tomatoes, red tomatoes, garlic and onion. You can also them put them in the oven at 350ºF until the skin of the tomatoes peel off. This is an easier way to grill them. 

Toast the seeds: 

In a clean pan, toast the green pumpkin seed while moving it quickly so that it toasts without burning. Once it has toasted, add it to a plate and set aside. Repeat this process with the sesame seed until it is golden-brown and set aside. 

Cook the chicken:

After having cleaned the chicken, add it to a pot with 6 cups of water, chicken broth powder  and salt. Allow to boil for about 10 minutes. Take out once the chicken no longer has blood and has an internal temperature of 165ºF. Set aside. 

Deseed the dehydrated chilaca chilis and guaque chilis. Add them to a pot with a cup of water. Cover the pot and boil for 5 minutes. Then, drain the water and blend the chilis with both tomatoes, bell peppers, garlic, onion, the powdered seeds. Instead of blending it with water, use the water used to cook the chicken. 

Finally, pour this salsa over the chicken and allow it to boil for 5-7 minutes on low heat. Add the chocolate and mix with the chicken and salsa as it is cooking. Season with salt. 

10 porciones 


5 libras de pollo (puede ser cualquier parte del pollo) 

½ taza de pepitoria 

½ taza ajonjolí 

2 chiles pimientos rojos 

8 tomatillos 

5 tomates rojos romas 

8 dientes de ajos 

2 chiles pasilla o ancho

2 chiles guaques 

4 cucharas  de consomé

1/4 cucharadita de sal 

1 mitad de cebolla 

6 tazas de agua


Para asar

Poner a asar los tomatillos, tomates rojos, ajos y la cebolla. Puede también ponerlos al horno a 350ºF hasta que la piel de los tomates se levante – es una manera más fácil de asar. 

Para dorar:

Ponga en un sartén limpio a dorar la pepitoria moviéndola rápidamente para que se dore parejo sin quemarse. Cuando la pepitoria esté tostada ponerla en un plato para evitar que siga dorando. Luego haga lo mismo con el ajonjolí en el mismo sartén hasta que se vea de color dorado – no deje de moverlo para evitar que se queme. 

Para cocer:

Después de haber lavado y limpiado el pollo muy bien, ponga a cocinar el pollo en 6 tazas de agua, agregando el consomé y el sal. Dejar hervir bien por 10 minutes. Sacar el pollo cuando ya no tenga sangre y que la temperatura interna está a 165ºF. Dejar a un lado. 

Quitar las semillas de los chiles pasilla y los chiles quagues. Luego, poner a cocer los chiles pasilla, los chiles guaques con una taza de agua y tapar la olla por 5 minutos. Después de cocerlos, escurrir el agua y junta los chiles con el resto de ingredientes para licuarlos. 

Ponga a licuar los tomates, chiles pimientos, ajos, cebolla, chiles pasilla, chiles guaques y el polvo de ajonjolí y pepitoria usando caldo del pollo en lugar de agua. 

Agregue al pollo esta salsa que licuó y déjelos hervir por 5-7 minutos a fuego lento. Agregue el  chocolate al pollo al cocinarse con la salsa. Sazone con sal al gusto. 

About Marabet Morales Sikahall

Marabet Morales is a twenty-one year old college student. Marabet is an Oakland native but identifies as Guatemalan-American. She is bilingual and attempts to write in Spanish every once in a blue moon. She is currently a student at Berkeley City College and is in the midst of applying to transfer to SF State for Creative Writing. Her goal is to eventually become an editor for a publishing company. She believes that helping cultivate a passion for reading in young children is essential for the future. Marabet’s love for Oakland, writing, and working hard for her community is what drives her everyday. She wants to be a role model for young women of color who want to write or be artists. She writes this article in hope that somewhere a young woman will find her voice as she was able to do. An interesting but weird fact about Marabet is that she is allergic to nutella. View all posts by Marabet Morales Sikahall →

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