Sunday, September 13, 2015

Vegetarian Arepas

Arepa is a very popular flatbread made using maize. It is commonly eaten in Colombia and Venezuela. Arepas are crispy on the outside and soft inside. They are usually slit open and filled with meat, beans, cheese etc. These are eaten for breakfast-lunch- dinner with different fillings. I came to know more about this from my husband's colleague who is a Venezuelan. He loves to cook and gave information about the flour to be used. I then tried making it after seeing few recipes and videos. I came up with my own fillings and the result was amazing. We both loved it a lot. I keep changing the filling every time I make. This is one of the way we enjoy eating. You can play around with any fillings of your choice. Do try making this amazing bread and let me know how it turned out for you!



Ingredients:

For Arepas:
  • PAN Cornmeal (I used white) - 1 cup
  • Oil - 1/2 tsp
  • Warm Water - 1 cup
  • Salt - To taste
For Filling:

Black bean Mixture:
  • Cooked black beans - 1/2 cup
  • Chopped Onion - 1/2 cup
  • Cayenne pepper - To Taste
  • Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Salt - To taste
  • Lime Juice - To taste
  • Olive Oil- 1 tsp
For Stir Fried Veggie Mixture:
  • Red Onion, medium sized - 1/2
  • Poblano pepper - 1
  • Salt & Pepper - To taste
  • Oil - 1-2 tsp
Guacamole - Prepared using One Avocado. Click here for the recipe.
For Garnishing - Queso Fresco



Procedure:

I prepared the guacamole beforehand and sticked it in the refrigerator until required. 


For making black bean mixture:

Chop the onions and set it aside. Then heat oil in a pan. Once hot, add the chopped onion and fry it until it turns translucent.


Then add cumin powder, red chilli powder and salt. Mix and continue frying the mixture for half a minute. 


Then add in the cooked black beans.
Fry the mixture for 1-2 minutes and then turn off the heat. Squeeze in lime juice and cover this mixture and set it aside until required.



Slice the onions and poblano pepper. Set it aside until required.


For preparing Dough:

Take PAN Cornmeal, salt and oil in a bowl.
Mix well and then warm water little at a time. Mix with a spoon . Once it comes together mix with your hands until you get a non sticky, smooth dough. Keep it covered and let it sit for five minutes.


Then divide the dough into three equal portions and smoothen them between your palms.




Now take one ball of the dough and flatten it between your palms to get a disc of 3-4 inch in diameter. Smoothen the cracks along the circumference, if any. Repeat with the remaining dough balls. 
Now spread little oil on the preheated skillet and place the flattened dough. Fry on both sides until it turns crispy and golden brown. Repeat with remaining flattened dough. Once fried they are ready to be filled.



While the Arepas are getting roasted on the skillet, stir fry the sliced onion - poblano in another preheated skillet along with oil. When its done, sprinkle salt and pepper.




Assembling:

Allow the arepas to cool for 1-2 minutes. Then using a small sharp knife, cut open the arepas 3/4th of the way as shown below.



Now spread some guacamole on the bottom slice. Then spoon in the black bean mixture, followed by stir fried onion- poblano mixture. Finally top it off with queso fresco (or you can place any filling of your choice). 



Vegetarian Arepas ready to serve!



Serve it immediately. Above measurement makes three medium sized Arepas.

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