This dish was inspired by the traditional indigenous practices I learned growing up as a danzante in a group of ceremonial concheros (practitioners of ritual pre-Columbian dances). This green pozole is expected at every one of our ceremonies, no matter the weather. In our tradition, the day of the dead ceremony lasts all night, ending the next day in a traditional limpia (spiritual cleansing ritual). This dish is that perfect balance of filling and light, helping us last through the night to dance the next day. The term pozole comes from the Nahuatl word pozolli or pozon, which loosely translates to soup or boil using hominy or nixtamalli, a staple that has been part of our cuisine for thousands of years. I've remixed this dish, which traditionally features pork or chicken, into a vegetarian version with mushrooms as the centerpiece.
Prep the fixings: Put the cabbage and radishes in a large bowl with 1/2 cup of water and a dash of salt. Squeeze over the juice of 1 of the limes.
To make the salsa verde, roast the tomatillos, poblano peppers and jalapeño on the stovetop directly over the gas flame at medium-high heat until they are a little charred all around, about 4 minutes. Remove the seeds and stems from the poblanos and jalapeño.
Into a blender or food processor, add the garlic, cilantro leaves, 1/2 cup of the vegetable broth, half the onion, the poblano peppers, jalapeño, tomatillos, juice of remaining lime, 1/2 teaspoon each of the garlic powder, onion powder and cumin and salt and pepper to taste and puree until liquified.
Put the hominy in a large pot with the remaining vegetable broth, 4 cups water and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes or to preferred hominy consistency.
In a separate pan over medium heat, add the oil. Saute the mushrooms and remaining onions with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon each of garlic powder, onion powder and cumin and salt and pepper to taste for 5 minutes, just to flavor the mushrooms a little.
Add the salsa verde, sautéed mushrooms and onions and spinach to the pot with the hominy and give it a good mix until the spinach wilts slightly and warms through. Serve in bowls and garnish the top with the shredded cabbage and sliced radish. Grab a spoon and dip in your favorite rolled-up corn tortilla!
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