Over the last few years I’ve created a fantasy world called Alteris, which is where Kingdoms, my live action interactive theater, events take place. Part of the creation of that world is also the creation of it’s cultures, religions, and food. One food I’m particularly proud of is called Yoba, an extremely spicy orange chili from the southern region of Filenfoe in this fictional world. The stew is meant to be one that really tests the pallet of the diners.
Aside from its robust smokey flavor and use of multiple hot peppers, it is one that shouldn’t be tested lightly. However, for those of you who love hot heat flavors, I suggest you get your stew pots ready.
Yoba combines a number of ingredients. You will need dried New Mexican chili peppers, serano peppers, habenero peppers, green chili peppers, and jalepeno peppers. And that’s just the peppers! For the dry spices you will need chili powder, cayenne pepper powder, cumin, corriander, and salt.
You will also need one whole yellow onion, four cloves of garlic, one pound of shredded pork meat, one pound of ground meat (I suggest poultry), one can of black beans, one can green chili sauce, a bundle of cilantro, one lime, one mango, one container of beef broth, and red cabbage.
First things first you need to put a large stock pot on the stove top at medium heat. Add a fair amount of olive oil to the bottom and toss in the New Mexican chili peppers with the diced yellow onion. Stir those together until it begins to smoke slightly. Then, add a cup of beef broth, all of the dry spices, and stir until it forms a thick paste. Let the paste sit until it begins to bubble slightly.
At this point you add the meat and stir together until all the meat is cooked through. Then, add the remainder of the broth, with 2 to 3 cups of water, until the mixture is soup like in consistency. At this point, you will add the beans, shredded cilantro, and diced peppers. As the Yoba bubbles over the next 10 minutes, crush the mango and lime into a small mixing bowl with the green chili sauce. After you’ve got that mixture ready to go, add it to the Yoba, mixing it completely together.
Give it another 20 minutes to completely combine all the flavors in the pot. When you serve it, top it with thinly sliced red cabbage. It will have a strong, smokey aroma, and the flavor kicks with both sweet and spicy elements. Many of my taste testers have commented that the stew is remarkably hot, though I find it a pleasant meal for any number of ocasions.
I created this recipe to serve specifically at my Kingdoms events, where people attend to get the feeling of being in another world, one of magic and wonder. This meal helps those who attend suspend their disbelief, as it tastes unlike anything most people have ever eaten, and gives a powerful kick to the tastebuds. One that anyone is sure to remember.
Be sure to keep plenty of beverage on hand if you do serve this meal. It will make your tongue burn. That’s part of the fun of it. Because it tastes so good, you’ll fight through that fire just for another bite of that sweet, sweet Yoba.