Chileatole Recipe

Spicy, rich chileatole is traditionally given to women after childbirth to give them strength.

Spring 2017

  • Chileatole is chocolaty, spicy, and delicious.
    Photo by iStock/barol16

Total Hands-On Time: 45 min

Preparation Time: 30 min

Cook Time: 15 min

Yield: 6 cups

Chileatole is a rich, fortifying drink that includes masa harina, dark chocolate, and spicy chiles. It’s traditionally given to women right after childbirth to help them recover and gain strength. Chileatole has a spicy, exotic taste that will warm your soul when winter days are dragging on and spring’s green shoots haven’t quite broken ground.


• 1 chile ancho
• 2 chiles de árbol
• 5 cups water
• 1/2 cup masa harina
• 1/2 cup cream
• 3-1/2 ounces dark chocolate
• 3 tablespoon brown sugar
• 1/8 teaspoon salt


1. Remove seeds from peppers, chop, soak in 2 cups water for 20 minutes. Purée, then set aside.

2. Add masa to a dry saucepan set over medium heat and slowly add the remaining water in a thin, steady stream while constantly whisking to avoid lumps.

3. When smooth and simmering, add the pepper purée, cream, chocolate, brown sugar, and salt.

4. After the chocolate melts, keep at a lower simmer for 5 minutes, stirring often to keep the masa from sticking.

5. Serve warm.

Read about the history of hot peppers in Around the World with the Hot Pepper.