Learn about its origins, history and STEP-BY-STEP how to make this truly unique Mexican treasure.
By Cheryl Miller
I first was introduced to Chilis en Nogada by some dear friends during a trip to Mexico City. They took me to an old, very charming restaurant famous for their rendition of the dish. The flavors, presentation and unique blends of seasonings made me an instant fan. And in as much as it is not commonly found in Baja California Sur, a dish that I made it my goal to conquer. And on this website, I share with you my step by step recipe. Click on the blue button for the recipe and to learn to make Chilis en Nogada in your own home. (Dedicated to my Mexican friend Monica, who said she did not know how...)
But first a little about what Chilis en Nogada is and its history:
Chiles en nogada is a dish from Mexican cuisine. The name comes from the Spanish word for the walnut tree, nogal. It consists of poblano chiles filled with picadillo (a mixture usually containing shredded meat, aromatics, fruits and spices) topped with a walnut-based cream sauce, called nogada, and pomegranate seeds, giving it the three colors of the Mexican flag: green for the chili, white for the nut sauce and red for the pomegranate. The walnut used to prepare nogada is a variety called Nogal de Castilla or Castillan Walnut, also known as the English Walnut.
]The traditional Chile en Nogada is from Puebla; it is tied to the independence of this country since it is said they were prepared for the first time to entertain the emperor Agustín de Iturbide when he came to the city after his naming as Agustín I. This dish is a source of pride for the inhabitants of the state of Puebla.
Some Mexican historians believe the inventors of this dish were the Monjas Clarisas, although others think they were the Madres Contemplativas Agustinas of the convent of Santa Monica, Puebla.
The picadillo usually contains panochera apple (manzana panochera), sweet-milk pear (pera de leche) and/or criollo peach (durazno criollo). The cream usually has milk, double cream, fresh cheese and washed nuts. The traditional season for making and eating this dish is August and first half of September, when pomegranates appear in the markets of Central Mexico and the
national independence festivities begin. In some areas, the dish is created depending on when the pomegranates are ripe - usually between early October and January.
However, it is traditionally associated and prepared for the Independence Day festivities.