You must be wondering, out of all the cuisines in the world, how did I end up cooking a cuisine that is completely unheard of, especially on this side of the globe. Well, after being thoroughly bored of the traditional choices of Italian, Mexican, Chinese, Thai, etc. (which I think we kind of overcooked during this quarantine period), I decided to grab a globe, shut my eyes, spin around the world lying in my lap and randomly point at a country marked on it. And thus, the choice of VENEZUELA!
Venezuela is a vibrant country on the northern coast of South America boasting of incredible Caribbean beaches, tropical islands, majestic mountains and glorious national parks. It’s cuisine has significant influences of it European and North American neighbours, Spain and Mexico and surprisingly the flavour palette of some of its dishes work brilliantly for Indian taste buds.
So, here is the recipe, of VENEZUELA’S ULTIMATE STREET FOOD : AREPAS (with a rich mushroom topping)
NOTE : While the original recipe uses a special kind of corn flour not readily available in Indian kitchens, I used a combination of Maida and Makki ka atta to turn it into a dish that can be easily made over and over again without any fuss over the ingredients at hand. Also you can top it with your own favourite toppings such as beans, corn etc. or use them as a filling rather than a topping.
FOR AREPAS :
Maida – 1/2 cup
Makki ka atta – 1/2 cup
Salt – a pinch
Warm water to knead
FOR THE TOPPING :
Mushrooms – 3 pkts (chopped)
Garlic – 5 cloves (chopped)
Red Bell pepper – 1/2 (chopped)
Yellow Bell pepper – 1/2 (chopped)
Green Onion – 1 big (chopped)
Tomatoes – 3 (chopped)
Carrots – 2 (chopped)
Coriander leaves – 1 bunch with stem
Basil seasoning – 1 spoon
Garam masala – 1 spoon
Cumin powder – 1 spoon
Red chilli powder – 1 spoon
Black pepper and salt – as per taste
- Knead the dough using Arepa ingredients and keep aside. Dough should be soft.
- Saute mushrooms in some oil or butter and keep aside.
- In a pan, add all the remaining ingredients one by one and cook well. Once a little cool, add into a mixer and blitz into a rich gravy. The gravy should be rich and grainy and not too smooth as then it may not stand on the arepas.
- Take the dough and make small flat slightly thick rotis (size of a steel katori) using a rolling pin and cook on a skillet till golden brown.
- Top up the hot arepas with the mushroom gravy and garnish with green onions and some paprika. Serve hot!
ENJOY! If you liked it, don’t forget to leave a comment and press LIKE! Have a great day!