Guatemalan Food: Iguashte or Iwaxte

Rudy Giron: Guatemalan gastronomy &emdash; Guatemalan Food: Iguashte

This is iguashte, a vegetable salad made with ground pumpkin or squash seeds. This is quite possibly a pre-Columbian Mayan dish. This version of iguashte can be found inside the mercado central of Antigua Guatemala. There are two version of iwaxte that I have tried so far, the one shown here with green beans and cauliflower and other with potatoes. If you are interested in a recipe, I can update this entry. Let me know.

Iguashte Recipe

1 cup squash seeds
1 cup miltomate [tomatillos]
1 garlic clove
1 pound potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
3 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups diagonal 1 inch pieces of green snap beans

1. Toast the squash seeds in a dry skillet over moderate to low heat for about 10 minutes until light brown.
2. Toast the tomatillos and garlic in a dry skillet over moderate to low heat for about 10 minutes, until the skins are slightly charred.
3. Cook the potatoes in the water with the salt until they are soft. Drain well and reserve the liquid.
4. Cook the green beans in the salted water over moderate heat until soft, about 5 minutes.
5. Drain well and reserve the liquid.
6. Prepare a smooth sauce in a processor by first putting in the squash seeds, then the tomatillos, garlic and 2 cups reserved cooking liquid. Strain the sauce and discard the rough bits.
7. Toss the sauce with the potatoes and green beans.
8. Refrigerate for 1 hour or more before serving.

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