“Mate Cocido” recipe for cold Christmas mornings (Paraguayan national beverage)

Mate Cocido (or in Portuguese Chá Mate) is a traditional infusion that is mainly consumed in the Cono Sur area (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay). It can be consumed as hot or cold beverage and is made out of boiled yerba mate (Mate herbs). Unlike the traditional Mate that used the raw herbs, Mate Cocido usually comes in forms of tea bags.
In Paraguay there is a particular way of preparing the hot form of “Cocido” that comes with burning the herbs in a frying pan. Paraguayans just love it and during the (not very long lasting) winter times mothers enjoy spoiling their family members with freshly prepared Cocido.
So, when she my Paraguayan mother-in-law visited us in Germany, the first thing she taught me was how to make “Cocido”. In Europe, where it might become chilly during the whole year, Cocido is just the best infusion to get warm and cosy. In particular during Christmas time I tend to prepare a lot to spoil my family – and they just love it!
Give it a try with this recipe!
Ingredients (for 1 l of water):
3 tablespoons white sugar
1 heaped tablespoon yerba mate (there is a particular type of yerba that is best for Cocido but any other kind of mate herbs is just as good)
1 l hot water
milk or additional sugar as you prefer
Preparation:
  1. Mix the sugar and the yerba mata in a frying pan
  2. Let the mix heat up on small fire and stir it constantly with a wooden spoon
  3. When the mix has caramelised and taken on a dark brown colour it’s ready (it should burn a little bit but not too much. The more it gets burnt, the stronger will be the taste afterwards but you can just do however you prefer it)
  4. Quickly put the mix into the prepared hot water and boil everything again. With some hot water you can get the sticky rest from the frying pan and add this into the boiling water.
  5. The water should be very dark now and you need to let it rest a bit in order to let the herbs sink to the ground (or just take a sieve to serve it right now)
  6. As personal preferences are, you can consume the Cocido with a bit of milk or additional sugar.
¡¡Buen provecho y disfrutalo!! 

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