Recipes from Nicaragua
Three months in Granada, Nicaragua living in a great place with a kitchen to boot meant I had enough time to learn some traditional dishes from Carla. I’ve shared them here, not only for my reference but should other folks want to try as well. None of them are very complicated but do rely on finding your own supply of red beans (frijoles), plantain (maduro) and yuca – which might just prove to be the trickiest part!
Makes 8 (depending on how large you make them!)
- 1 lb of fresh yuca
- 0.5 lb of Nicaraguan dry cheese – feta could work as an alternative
- 2 chickenstock cubes
- 30-45 minutes
- Peel the yuca
- Cut into halves and quarters and similar sizes
- Boil the yuca in hot water for approximately 20 minutes until soft – if you have older yuca this step may take longer
- Grate the cheese
- Put the yuca into a large boil
- Begin to break up the yuca , remove the central fibres and hard lumps
- Add the chicken stock and some salt to taste
- Mash the yuca evenly
- Take a lump of yuca into your hands and roll it into a ball, flatten the ball out into a circle, sprinkle cheese in the centre of the circle, hold the yuca in half to a semi-circle and push down the outer edge to combine both sides
- Repeat for your remaining yuca, depending on the size of your enyucados you will be able to make about 8. Note the thicker they are the longer they take to cook
- Heat a large frying pan with a generous about of vegetable oil
- When hot add one or two enyucados at a time and fry for approximately 5 minutes
- Turn over each enyucado when golden brown
- Turn the enyucado on its thicker edge briefly so it is consistently golden
- Place on kitchen paper to absorb excess oil
Eat as a snack or add a salad to make lunch!
Torta de huevo con arroz
Makes 2 large tortas
- 0.5 lb leftover rice
- 1 onion
- 2 chiyotes or small green peppers
- 4 eggs
- Portion of leftover vegetables, french beans, broccoli, spinach, any number of items could work
- Seasoning and herbs to taste
- Chop the onion and 2 small peppers finely, chop any herbs you would like to add
- Put half your rice into a bowl, use a fork or fingers to break down any big lumps
- Add half the onion, peppers and vegetables
- Add 2 eggs and use fork to combine it all, mix well. Depending on your amounts you may need to add an extra egg.
- Heat a frying pan with a generous amount of oil
- Add your first torta and fry for about 3 minutes depending on the thickness of your torta
- Turn your torta over (can be tricky) and fry the other side
- When golden brown on both sides place on kitchen paper to absorb extra oil
Best eaten hot!
Torta de maduro
Serves 6 portions
- 1 lb of ripe maduro
- 0.5 lb of pre-prepared cooked frijoles in their juice
- 0.5 lb of Nicaraguan dry cheese, feta could be used as an alternative – sliced or grated depending on preference
- Small onion chopped finely
- Coriander chopped finely
- Chop the maduro into sections (leave in their skin if it is already very soft) and boil for 20 mins
- Liquefy the preprepared frijoles, onion and coriander in a blender until it is a consistent puree
- Drain the plantain when ready, remove skins, cut each section gently in half and remove the central fibres. This step can be a bit fiddly.
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees centigrade
- Mash the plantain consistently
- Prepare your cheese
- In a greased pyrex dish layer up your ingredients evenly, first plantain, then frijoles next cheese. Repeat. Sprinkle cheese on top.
- Place in a hot oven for approximately 30 minutes until the consistency of the torta is more solid and the cheese is golden brown
This one almost tastes sweet but watch out it’s very filling!
Making Gallo Pinto with Carla in Granada, Nicaragua!
Sophia Cheng With a decade of communications experience across the for profit and nonprofit sectors, agency and in-house, Sophia has made a habit of making ‘the hard stuff’ more accessible. Since 2018, she has reorientated her life around the climate crisis. She has forged her decade of communications experience into offering workshops, mentoring, blogging, and more, on the biggest issues of our time. View all posts