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Thursday, September 25, 2014

V for Venezuela ~ Cachapas

Event: BM #44, Around the world (A - Z Series)  
Choice of Country: The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
Capital City: Caracas
Official Language: Spanish 

I am moving to Venezuela today for the "Around the World in 30 days", an alphabetical based global culinary tour. It is a South American nation situated on the northern side of the continent and it's cuisine is influenced by it's indigenous people and the European ancestry. The cuisine is varied and greatly reflects the climatic contrasts and the diversity in culture among it's people. Food staples include corn, plantain, yams, rice, beans and meat. 

During my recipe hunt for this marathon, I realized that plantains, yuca and corn are an integral part of Latino cooking. And so I made it a point to cook three dishes based on these ingredients which were simple and kid-friendly - Yuca fries, patacones and these cachapas. Like baleadas, these pancakes were a super-hit with my  

Cachapas are fresh corn pancakes topped with cheese and they are a popular street food in Venezuela. These traditional pancakes are made using fresh corn dough or wrapped in dry corn leaves and boiled. They are served at breakfast or as an appetizer at homes. The most common and simple variety is made by grinding fresh corn into a thick batter. These thick, lumpy pancakes are traditionally eaten with a soft cheese from Venezuela called Queso de Mano and occasionally with fried pork. Mozzarella or feta cheese can be substituted in absence of Queso de Mano. Cachapas may also include different kinds of cheese, cream or jam.

Ingredients: (makes 4)
2 cups corn kernels (I used frozen)
Salt to taste
3 tbsp masa harina (I substituted it with corn flour.)
Oil to make cachapas
1 cup Venezuelan cheese / shredded mozzarella cheese

* Grind corn kernels and salt to a thick, coarse paste in a food processor. Add masa harina / corn flour and pulse to incorporate.
* Heat a nonstick pan and pour a ladleful of batter. Don't spread but just using the back of the ladle, shape into a circle.
* Add 1/2 tsp of oil around the edges, cover and cook until golden brown spots appear on the bottom side. 
* Uncover the pan and carefully flip the cachapas without breaking.
* Cover and cook again until it turns golden brown on the other side too.
* Top with about 1/4 cup of cheese and cover until the cheese has melted.
 * Repeat the process with the remaining batter and serve immediately.


Varadas Kitchen said...

Corn and cheese! The pancakes have such a lovely corn yellow color! Sounds and looks yummy!

Usha said...

These pancakes seem to be popular even among our bm group. This is the third post of pancakes I am reading today. Cheese spread on corn looks simply delicious!

Priya Suresh said...

That melted cheese is tempting me a lot, corn and cheese both works awesome..Delicious pancakes.

Manjula Bharath said...

wow cachapas looks fabulous and you have made them super perfect dear :) love the cheese top very very tempting !!

Harini-Jaya R said...

Same Pinch Suma. My kids loved these!!

Srivalli said...

Wow that melting cheese really got me Suma..very interesting one...

Gayathri Kumar said...

Wow! The melting cheese on the pancakes are making me drool...

Pavani N said...

The last click with the cheese filled cachapas is absolutely perfect and drool worthy. Nice pick for the country.

The Pumpkin Farm said...

u made it too :) same pinch...we loved it. and yours look classy

Padmajha PJ said...

Very well presented Suma.Looks so tempting!

Chef Mireille said...

popular dish for this letter. you are all making me want to try it so bad

Sreevalli E said...

Temptingly made dish. Wish I could grab one.

Archana Potdar said...

Can I beg you to spare one for me? Love it Suma.

Sapana Behl said...

Wow another interesting version of corn pancakes.Lovely color you have got there!