New Caribbean Indigenous Cook Book Project

Taino'ti Guaitiao (Greetings Relatives):

It is our hope that this message finds you and all your loved ones in good health and Spirit. We are writing to share a few Taino – Arawak style recipes in the hope that community members will share some of their traditional family favorites with us.

We are in the beginning stages of a new project that will result in a book, which will feature the continuation of our indigenous Caribbean culinary heritage. This publication will focus on traditional and traditionally inspired indigenous dishes from throughout the islands into the mainland.

All proceeds will benefit the on-going work of the UCTP. If you can share a recipe that we can reprint, we will credit you and your family in the book. Bo'matum (thank you).

Oma'bahari (With respect),
Roberto Múkaro Borrero,
President and Chairman,
UCTP Office of International Relations and
Regional Coordination


A Few Taino Style Recipes compiled by the UCTP...

SANCOCHO aka Ahiaco
(Assorted Root-Vegetable Soup)

2 pounds beef, cut as for stew
1 pound pork, cut as for stew
1/2 pound smoked ham diced
1/2 cup basic Sofrito ( chopped tomatoes, onions, green and red
peppers, peeled garlic cloves, cilantro or chinese parsley, chopped
or processed)
1/4 cup tomato sauce or chopped tomatoes
1 pound each calabaza (Pumpkin), yautía (taro root), malanga, batata
(sweet potato) and cassava (yuca), peeled and diced in cubes
1 green plantain and 4 green bananas, peeled and cut in 2 inch rounds
3 corn ears, cut into 2 inch rounds
2 chicken cubes
1 beef cube
Salt and pepper to taste
Bijol, a teaspoon, for color Bija is derived from the achiote plant.

Preparation: In a large soup pot, combine 6 quarts of chicken or beef
stock, or water with the beef, pork and ham, the Sofrito and the
Tomato Sauce, and you can add 1/2 a beer. Cover and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat to medium, cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until
the meat is tender. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to
another boil. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 45 minutes or
until the vegetables and tubers are cooked and the soup is thick.

*Sancocho can be prepared with chicken, but the procedure is shorter
as you can boil the chicken with the vegetables and tubers all at


Yuca (cassava)

4-6 cassavas, peeled and halved
1 tsp. salt
4 cloves garlic, minced
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 C olive oil

Preparation: Boil yuca in salted water until tender (about 25
minutes). Drain yuca. Add garlic and lemon juice. Heat olive oil in a
pan until bubbling, then pour over yuca. Mix well and serve.


Bija - Achiote Paste

1 1/2 tablespoons crushed annatto seeds
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup chili powder
4 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon oregano
3 cloves garlic
1/2 medium-sized white onion
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup pineapple juice
1 1/2 cups orange Juice
1/4 cup lemon Juice 1 teaspoon oil Instructions:

Preparation: Cut the onion into slices. Crush the garlic in a mortar
and pestle, and then place the garlic and onion in a frying pan with
the oil. Lightly fry them until they are softened. Use a blender to
finely mix all of the ingredients. Stores in the refrigerator for up
to a week.

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