A Brief History of Pozole and a Vegetarian Recipe

Several fates could await the warriors captured by the Aztec Empire. One of them was that, after having their hearts extracted in a ceremonial offering to the gods, their flesh would become the special ingredient in a broth filled with coarse-grained corn prepared exclusively for the upper classes. First, the corn had to be boiled with lime, which generated a lot of foam, or pozolli. This is the most widely accepted origin of today’s pozole, a traditional stew in Mexico that is eaten around the holidays, Independence Day, and throughout the year.

pozole receta vegana
Photo: ©Lunamarina via Canva.com

With the passing of time and cessation of human sacrifice, the ingredients evolved and this stew was no longer reserved for the elites and became a more representative dish for all of Mexico, where it is prepared differently according to the region.

The most popular recipe is pozole blanco, or white pozole. It contains cacahuazintle corn, pork or chicken, seasoning from ground piquin chili, and served with lettuce, radishes, onion, ground oregano, and lime. 

pozole receta vegana
Photo: Recepedia

Some northern states prefer red pozole, whose color comes as a consequence of using ancho and guajillo chilies, and sometimes contains turkey. 

In the south, green pozole verde is eaten. As its name alludes, it is prepared with green tomato, epazote and pumpkin seeds, and is often accompanied by avocado and chicharrón

pozole receta vegana
Photo: People

The Pacific coasts also have a variant that includes seafood, similar to a shrimp broth with fish, octopus, and clams. 

However, the recipe we want to share with you is one that is even further away from the supposed origins of this traditional dish – a vegetarian version. 

Vegetarian pozole with mushrooms (serves 4)

pozole vegano receta
Photo: Recepedia
  • 1 kg of hominy
  • 1 onion
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 4 roasted guajillo chiles, deveined and hydrated
  • 250 g cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 200 g oyster mushrooms, sliced
  • 16 squash blossoms, pistils removed
  • ¼ head of romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 cup chopped radish
  • 2 limes, halved
  • salt and pepper to taste
pozole vegano receta
Photo: La Verdad
  1. Rinse the hominy and place in a pressure cooker.
  2. Add half the onion, bay leaves, thyme, a clove of garlic, and oregano.
  3. Pour water filling the pot up to three quarters. Boil for 20 minutes after the steam is released. Let cool and set aside.
  4. Blend the chiles with the rest of the onion and garlic. Strain.
  5. Pour the mixture over the cooked corn and mix with salt and pepper. Cook until it comes to a boil.
  6. Add the mushrooms and squash blossoms. Adjust seasoning and cook for 10 more minutes.
  7. Serve hot and garnish with lettuce, onion, radishes, oregano, and a squeeze of lime.

You may also like…