Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Abuelita Carmen's Amazing Changua!

When we left to adopt our toddler, a boy 21 months old, I knew we would be spending the bulk of our stay with my in-laws. Actually, that was part of the appeal of choosing Bogotá over other areas. What I didn’t realize was how invaluable my mother-in-law would be in the process of his adjustment.

When we received our referral, we had very little information about our son’s appetite and culinary likes and dislikes. I quote, “He likes eggs, any fruit, and will eat meat with patience. For dessert, he likes jell-o with condensed milk on top.” Not extremely helpful, but I thought, “Hey – he’s going to be a great eater.”

Imagine my surprise when he wouldn’t eat what I fed him. We spent the first week in an apartment in Bogotá and it was a struggle daily to get him to eat anything. After our integration meeting at the ICBF regional office, we took a 3 hour trip to my husband’s home town. Enter Abuelita Carmen and her life saving recipes.

So, I will share Abuelita Carmen's recipe for sure-fire food success (at least this is what she called them). If you have adopted from, or are adopting from Bogotá, Cundinamarca, or Boyacá, it is likely that you child/ren has eaten this unusual soup which is a decendant of the native Chibcha indians.

Recipe for Changua (sounds horrible, but it is healthy and my son still eats bowlfuls 2 years later)

1 ½ cup water
3-4 green onions cut into ¼ inch pieces (cebolla larga)
1 /4 garlic tooth (diente de ajo)
Salt (lots to taste) (sal)

Boil these together until the water turns yellowy.
Take out the onion pieces and garlic.

Crack 1 egg and let it cook in the boiling water.

In the meantime make a piece of toast and butter it (use lots of butter or margarine – just not the low–fat stuff). If you are in Colombia, ask for a Calado, oft pronounced Calao. In a bowl, break the Calado into small pieces, or if back home, break the toast into little pieces in a bowl.

Add ½ cup cold milk to water/egg mixture and dump the whole thing on the bread in the bowl. You get 1 serving of milk, 1 of bread and 1 egg. My mother-in-law puts little chopped up cilantro in it, but I leave it out as my son kind of chokes on it.

Note, this is a breakfast food!
I found a link to pictures of a bowl full of Changua. Check it out!

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

You are right, it souds horrible. But as someone who's enjoyed changua many times, I can tell you that it actually tates pretty good! When you are in Colombia, try adding "almojabana"-- the typical bread from Boyaca. It adds a great flavor!

Renee said...

Looks and sounds great to me. Can't wait to try it and see if our kids like it someday. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

Anonymous said...

In my house, we always have it for dinner on a cold, rainy day. I add potatoes to it and use chicken boullion when boiling the water for added flavor. Still a family favorite.