Recado de Pepian Indio (Guatemalan Pepian Indio Sauce)


Pepian is among the 4 national dishes of Guatemala. Pepian is hot, hearty, simple, yet complex. In Guatemala, pepian has as many variations as there are cooks. Here is my recipe for a simpler version of this sauce. Serve with white rice.

Prep Time:
30 mins
Cook Time:
50 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 20 mins
5 cups


  • 6 tomatoes

  • 8 fresh tomatillos, husks removed

  • 1 onion, peeled

  • 2 garlic cloves

  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds

  • 2 tablespoons hulled pumpkin seeds

  • 1 thick slice of French baguette

  • 4 sprigs fresh cilantro

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 2 black peppercorns

  • 3 cups chicken broth

  • ¼ cup olive oil

  • 1 chayote, cut into 8 pieces

  • 4 potatoes, thickly sliced

  • 1 cup fresh corn kernels

  • 3 cups chicken broth


  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat; place tomatoes, tomatillos, onion, and garlic into the hot skillet and stir until vegetables are lightly charred, about 20 minutes. Remove vegetables from skillet; stir sesame and pumpkin seeds into the hot skillet, stirring until seeds are lightly toasted, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat.

  2. Toast baguette slice in a toaster. Place baguette slice, tomatoes, onion, garlic, sesame seeds, cilantro, salt, and black peppercorns into a blender; pulse several times to chop, then blend the mixture until smooth. Pour 3 cups chicken broth into blender and puree again.

  3. Strain blended sauce through a sieve and pour into a large saucepan; stir olive oil into sauce. Place over medium-high heat, bring to a boil, and cook for 3 minutes. Stir chayote, potatoes, and corn into sauce; stir in 3 cups chicken broth. Bring back to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer until chayote and potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.

Cook's Note:

When the vegetables are cooked and soft, you can add your choice of previously cooked chicken, pork, or beef.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

319 Calories
14g Fat
45g Carbs
8g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 319
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 14g 17%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 5mg 2%
Sodium 1386mg 60%
Total Carbohydrate 45g 16%
Dietary Fiber 8g 28%
Total Sugars 9g
Protein 8g
Vitamin C 56mg 278%
Calcium 79mg 6%
Iron 3mg 18%
Potassium 1207mg 26%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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