Rice, Yucca (the cassava, tapioca plant), Yams and Corn are very important crops and staples along with tropical fruits such as mango and bananas or plantains. Corn and Yucca are appropriate dishes to give the Taino and indigenous Lwa. Akasan is a corn flour shake typically taken at Haitian services and on Sunday morning.
Corn is just one of the substances we use to feed veve and other items, a very important plant.
Jou Mou: Pumpkin Soup
This soup is traditionally eaten at New Years in Haiti, to celebrate during initiations, and the freedom which came from their revolution against the French. It was once forbidden for slaves to eat this Sunday Soup during slavery. The Petro and the Simbis are celebrated particularly around New Years and the iconography of the three magi. It is served in a banquet with other dishes such as spaghetti.
FuFu: Mashed Yams with Palm oil
Made during Mange Yam fet to feed Lwa and community after harvest festival. Given to Ogun, Azaka, and the Ghede, as well as Simbi. Often also Tchaka and yucca or cassava dishes is made at this time. Still also eaten and celebrated in Ghana and Nigeria, either in September, October or Nov 24-26th in Haiti. Dried fish boiled into this mash, or mashed yucca with garlic and lime juice is also incorporated (Yucca con ajo). As this is a thanksgiving, usually the spirits of the land such as the patron saint, as well as indigenous peoples and ancestors are honored and Indio Lwa. Yucca is a Taino cemi spirit of the sun and sky god Yocahu.
Tchaka: Beef or Pork Pumpkin Stew
Called also Chaka or Tyaka, it is the favorite food of the hard working agricultural Lwa Azaka and gives you strength. If you make it for him be sure you do not taste it first, he will think you are stealing....
It is so delicious! The habanero surprisingly does not add much heat.
Griot: Fried Pork for Erzulie Dantor
Also called griyot or griyo. A well loved popular Haitian dish served with pickled veg.
She also eats the Diri black mushroom rice, and takes black coffee with sugar.
Ti Malice Hot sauce
The legend of sos Ti-Malice (also spelled sauce Ti-Malice) is that a gentleman named Ti-Malice served the extra spicy sauce along with a meal to keep his friend Bouki from eating everything up. Ironically, it turned out that Bouki loved the sauce most of all, and he went on to rave about it to everyone he met. And so, this tangy onion condiment for fish and grilled meats remains popular in Haiti to this day.
Some associate Ti-malice with the wily creational spider spirit Anansi from the Ashanti tribe, or Ghede Zaina spider Lwa. Most Ghede and Petro love hot pepper sauce or peppers added to their foods.
Arroz con dulce or sweet rice, candied coconut rice
Many cooler Lwa who like white foods prefer this recipe, such as La Siren, Dhambala and Aida Wedo, Agwe, Erzulie Freda or Metricili as well as the Marassa Lwa pictured as 2 twin children. If you make it for the Marassa make sure you make 2 plates with the same amount, or a dish with 2 divided portions, or they will get upset and bicker. You do not want that in your life.
This recipe is also popular in Puerto Rico, who as a Caribbean island shares some culinary similarities.
I also like to serve Puerto Rican foods at important Sanse temple events.
Eating the foods bring you closer to the culture and people who we share our spiritual family and lineage with. It is great to celebrate with. There are tons of blogs and websites out there committed to Puerto Rican and Haitian or Dominican cooking,
An easy chicken soup can be made with cubed yucca and yellow rice instead of noodles. The yuca does take awhile to cook so I usually boil them for a bit first, then add them in again after the other veg and chicken cooks after the broths is added. This is like a sanocho or stew.
My godparents gave me an easy recipe they call Puertorican pizza:
grill yellow plantains in a pan until browned, remove from heat and slice not quite all the way through the middle to open them up a bit. Saute up some onions and add your ground meat such as beef. Top the plantains with this and some mozza cheese, bake in oven until melted. You have to try this it is so yummy.
The green plantains, a starchy like banana are good for being smashed and fried as tostones.
Metricili also likes sliced bananas lightly fried with some sugar.
A great Christmas and winter warm up drink, yet still refreshing.
You can also add rum or cheat and buy rumchata at the liquor store
Coquito is the puerto rican version,
I usually make a hybrid so its dairy free with coconut and vanilla cashew milk
from the travel bite
We also make alot of mulled apple cider in the winter months.
Mama Juana a Dominican and Indio drink is a drink at this time as it keeps cold away and has alcohol and spices, it also cleanses inside and is medicinal infusion of roots and leaves.
Because we have Paleros in our house we also make Chamba: a rum infused with roots, peanuts, spices and secret ingredients.
Yamboso is infused with herbs that the congo spirits like. Azaka takes rum infused with wormwood, while Ghede take rum or gin with 21 hot peppers called Piman. The Petro and Kalfu take Kiman, which also has its secrets.
Riz Djon Djon: Black mushroom rice
Also called Diri, given during Mange Mo and Fet de Ghede to feed the dead. The Baron will typically take black beans and rice with hot sauce as well. Djon Djon is a black mushroom fungus that you can buy dried packets of to make this dish by reconstituting them in boiling water first, and remove from heat until soft, a little will expand to make a large amount. This mushroom is also served at other special occasions: Christmas, birthdays and weddings along with pork or fish. Ghede also take black beans and rice with hot sauce.
Pan de Muertos: bread for the dead, and day of the dead
In espiritismo, as well as all African Diasporic traditions and worldwide most indigenous spiritual traditions venerate the ancestors. In spiritualist misa a pan espiritual liturgical bread can be made which is prayed over and blessed by the spiritual currents present in seance mass. A portion is tasted, and shared with the dead.
Bread has associations with prosperity and alchemy. A store bought loaf of bread will do in a pinch. A sourdough is traditional in espiritismo as well. You can put a piece of buttered bread on the ancestor altar, along with water and a white candle. Of course anything from your culture, that you ancestors or spirits like can be offered. Guava and pork are just some foods associated with the dead. After misa or service we will take in a small meal to replenish and recover our energy.
If you have a coveted pan espiritual recipe please send it to me I would be grateful.
Cassava: Casabe bread:
I use use the cassava flour without the hoop
This can also be bought at ethnic and Dominican grocery
I really hope you enjoy these recipe ideas. Did I make you hungry?
Do you know of any other cultural recipes that are associated with Lwa, or cultural events associated with Vodou or espiritismo? I would love to learn more if you want to share below in the comments or message me on facebook.
~Sancista Siete Encruzhiladas~
you can follow my facebook here
or email firstname.lastname@example.org