Hello and welcome to 2013 on the Everyday Veggie! I trust you all had an amazing holiday period and all ate so much that you think even looking at a nut roast might make you vomit a little in your mouth. I certainly did.
My new year’s resolution for this site was so explore more different cuisines, so for the first post of the new year we have a dish that’s Colombian and Venezuelan by birth. Arepas are popular in all of central America, especially Panama, as they’re both delicious and filling as well as being something great to eat on the go.
This recipe is one that’s simple but absolutely packed with flavour. One of the best things about arepas as that they’re not at all difficult to make, and they really don’t take all that long either. Whilst you can stuff these bad boys with just about anything, I love the heavy-handed garlicness of this filling, offset by a subtle lime injection. The creamy avocado sets everything off perfectly.
(Makes 4 arepas)
1 cup arepa flour
1 1/2 cups water
a pinch of salt
2 teaspoons fresh cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh chili, chopped (I use aji chombo – the smaller they are, the hotter they’ll be!)
3 cloves of garlic, crushed and chopped
2 cups of black beans
the juice of 1 lime, sliced
vegetable / coconut oil
Mix the water and arepa flour together in a bowl to form a moist dough
Add in the salt, cilantro and chili, and knead to spread the cilantro and chili throughout the dough
Form into 4 arepas
Heat a little oil in a pan
Over a medium heat, fry the arepas on one side until it’s beginning to brown
Meanwhile, fry the garlic in a little oil in a separate pan
Add in the black beans and the juice of one lime, and heat until a little reduced and cooked through
Turn the arepas and cook again on the other side
When the arepas are done, remove from the heat and cut in half
Fill each one with 1/4 of the black bean mixture, and top with a few slices of avocado
Serve and enjoy!
This is a naturally gluten-free recipe, and one that will bring a taste of the tropics to your plate! Arepa flour is made from corn, so there’s no wheat to be found. Hooray!
For the true Panamanian experience, enjoy with a beer with a lime in it and a sunset with good friends.