BY ITZEL ZAGAL
On this occasion I want to share with you the traditional Champurrado recipe that my dear comadrita Macrina Muñoz taught me several years ago. It will help us warm up and, for those who found baby Jesus inside the Rosca de Reyes on January 6, fulfill their obligation to make atole to celebrate the day of Candlemas with.
The champurrado traditionally does not contain milk, however, part of the water can be substituted with milk or evaporated milk if you prefer. Other ingredients that can be added are anise seeds, orange peel, and vanilla. I personally like the traditional recipe because it is a flavor that under the Popocatépetl volcano I grew up with. And if you decide to make your fresh *nixtamal dough, I ask you to write to me with your experience, it will give me great joy to know that nixtamal is present in these lands.
*Nixtamal is made with corn soaked in an alkaline solution. Once it softens, it is ground and used to make masa dough, tamales, atole, or corn tortillas.
1. Toast the corn masa over low heat until it begins to change color.
Continue stirring constantly for approximately 4 minutes.
2. Blend the toasted masa with 3 cups of water.
3. Boil the remaining 3 cups of water with the chocolate (cocoa), cinnamon, cloves, and piloncillo, or sugar, in a pot until they are all mixed.
4. Add the liquefied corn masa into the boiling water.
5. Stir the champurrado constantly in the pot so it does not stick. Continue to cook for 15 minutes.
Note that it should have a thick consistency, characteristic of the traditional atoles.
Itzel Zagal writes bilingual poetry, and short stories on issues related to migration, decolonization, gender, among others. She has published poems in Sol de Medianoche, Antología Muñecas, Cirque Journal, Antología Grito de Mujer, and Alaska Women Speak. She was nominated to the Pushcart Prize 2019 by Cirque Journal.
She holds an LL.M. in International Human Rights Law and loves Aztec dance.