The food that we eat in our childhood is almost always our comfort food. It brings back memories of our carefree days. Anumita spent a part of her childhood in Venezuela. She went to school there and enjoyed Venezuelan food. She serialises some of the popular dishes from that country. Here’s the recipe for delicious and finger licking Arepa exclusively for Different Truths.
Childhood has a unique way of continuing into adulthood. Mine did with the flavour of food. I lived in the beautiful country, Venezuela, as a child. I remember the distinct taste and flavour of certain foods. They are integral part of my childhood.
It has been a long time since I had such food. Recently, a food magazine stirred my memories. A picture of a steaming Arepa with succulent chicken filling was on the page. I flipped through the pages to find the recipe of the dish shown in the picture, but alas did not find any.
As if my wish was heard by the universe, I got a ping on my phone from a very old friend of my childhood days. He was trying to connect all those, who had shared childhood in Venezuela.
I called my Maa (mother) to ask her if she remembered any of those foods we relished during our stay in Venezuela. She not only remembered, she gave me a tutorial, on the phone, on how to make three of my very favourites, Aprepa, Chivo con Coco, and Yo Yo.
I would like to share these three recipes in three parts, with all of you and hope you will make your own flavourful journey, cooking these at home. Trust me, you will enjoy the finger-licking Venezuelan food.
This is one of the quintessential Venezuelan foods. It is a cornmeal patty which is baked or fried.
These patties are sliced and stuffed with chicken, pork or beef salad with mayonnaise and white cheese. Its sweet and salty taste with crispy and soft texture gives each bite a satisfaction to all food lovers. It is a very simple meal yet very fulfilling.
Prep time: 20 mins Cook time: 20/30 mins
For: Lunch/Dinner Type: Venezuelan
Ingredients for Arepa
- 3 cups lukewarm water or more
- 3 cups Venezuelan cornmeal
- 5 tbs. of Canola oil
- 1 1/4 tsp. salt
Procedure for Arepa
Dilute the salt in the lukewarm water. Mix in the cornmeal little by little till it is a pliable drought. Leave it for about 2/3 mins. Then add little bit of oil and water and shape the dough.
Divide it into six parts and shape them into small disk shapes with an inch in depth. Place them on the baking sheet.
Preheat to 360⁰, bake this cakes for till golden and then skillet fry them with a brush of oil, till crusty.
Slice through and leave them on the baking sheet.
Ingredients for Filling Arepa
- 26oz. boneless chicken
- Salt to taste
- Pepper powder
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp distilled white vinegar,
- 1/2 sliced small onion
- 1 scallion finely chopped
- 1 pitted and chopped ripe avocado
- 2 tbsps. minced cilantro
- 2 tbsps. minced parsley
- 1/2 minced jalapeño
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
- 2 tbsps. finely chopped red onion
Procedure for Filling
Cover the chicken with water, add salt and pepper. Add the onions and let it boil till cooked. Let it cool and shred it.
In a bowl mash the avocado, and mix in vinegar, mayonnaise, cilantro, parsley and garlic. Mix in chicken, red bell pepper, red onion, and scallion. Sprinkle salt and pepper. Cover and let it stay in refrigerator.
When the Arepas are taut, pick each, and place the filling in them. Sprinkle in the white cheese. All you need to do is to take a bite and feel the flavours fill your senses.
Bon Appétit, friends!
©Anumita Chatterjee Roy
Pix from Net.
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