Mayan Pollo en Pepian

The Mayan civilisation (Mexico and northern Central America) may be lost but this recipe has retained their influence. Pollo is 'chicken' and Pepian refers to a nutty sauce. It is an unusual but delightfully flavoursome recipe and well worth a try.


For 1 Continued...
1 chicken breast knob of butter
200 ml chicken stock 100 ml passata (see note 4)
2 tbspn pumpkin seeds salt to taste
1 tspn sesame seeds freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 red pepper (see note 1) 1 tbspn oil
50 gm onion (prepared weight) 40 ml orange juice
1 clove garlic 20 ml lime juice
2 tbspn raisins ¼ tspn ground allspice
2 tbspn flaked almonds  



  1. Heat the oil in a frying pan and, over a medium heat, fry the blended paste, stirring regularly, for 5 min.
  2. Return the chicken and stock to the heat and mix in the 'cooked' paste from the frying pan, add the orange juice, lime juice, allspice and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cover and simmer, stirring regularly for 15 min until the sauce is quite thick.


  1. Serve with rice and garnish with the raisins and toasted almonds.


(1) Red or yellow pepper can be used or even a combination of both.
(2) It is very difficult to grind the pumpkin seeds in a pestle and mortar.
(3) When blending small quantities it is easier to put the ingredients into a mug and use a hand (stick) blender.
(4) Passata is not a traditional ingredient but is used here instead of a tomato because supermarket purchased tomatoes are rarely ripe enough.

I'd like to know if you enjoyed this so please email – also feel free to ask for help.
The main ingredients
Enlarge Image
Enlarge image

The finished meal

Blending small quantities
Blending small quantities