Yes, you read that right, rocks. It’s a very old recipe, traditional and all that, some say it goes back to pre-españoles Mayan times. I was going to say pre-conquest but that opens up a whole can of uncomfortable worms.
This dish is made with ibes, (EE-behs) which are the tender ‘new’ beans (phaseolus lunatus) fresh off the vine.
The origin of the word comes from the Mayan tóok (to burn or scorch) and sel/kel which means roughly ground up.
Take the beans and boil until tender, drain and mix them together with ground-up pepita which is/are of course pumpkin squash seeds – ground up with the shell on I might add – and available at any self-respecting market in any Yucatan town. This mix is cooked to completion in a clay pot which also contains some red-hot rocks (cleaned and preheated over a fire) stirring all the while.
The pot is then covered with a cloth and the pepita will emit part of its natural oils and some of the ibes will become slightly burnt. This is what gives the dish its exquisite flavor.
You can serve the toksel in hot corn tortillas or as a topping for panuchos. To accompany the dish, it is customary to use the cooking water from the ibes seasoned with a little lime juice and chile.