Since arriving in Honduras, the dish we have most come up against has been baleadas. This stuffed flour tortilla has divided the group, with the boys quick to embrace the Honduran speciality, while the girls remained some-what unimpressed.
Baleadas are a typical Honduran dish, eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner and consists of a warmed floured tortilla folded in half, typically containing refried beans, egg, cheese and mantequilla (Honduras’ answer to soured cream). Welcome additions are chicken, avocado and plantain chips, depending on the restaurant.
Every Thursday afternoon we have a ‘learning session’, where the nationals teach us about their culture. This week it was Dania’s turn, and she taught us the art of creating a perfect baleada.
They were the best baleadas the group had tasted, and some of the girls (although not all) were converted to the ‘pro-baleadas’ side.
Here is Dania’s family recipe for the perfect baleadas.
For the filling (for one baleada)
2 tablespoons of beans
1 tablespoon of mantequilla
1 egg (scrambled)
1 tablespoon of crumbled cheese
(chicken is optional, but recommended)
For the beans
200 grams red beans
1 clove of garlic
1 white onion (chopped finely)
Margarine (enough to fry)
Black pepper (to taste)
For the tortilla (makes approximately 15)
1 teaspoon of salt
½ teaspoon of yeast
1 tablespoon bicarbonate soda
2lb of flour
1 cup of water
For the tortillas
1. Mix all the tortilla ingredients together
2. Knead the dough for 20 minutes
3. Cut into 15 equal parts
4. Cover in foil and leave to rest for 6 hours
5. Knead each ball for a couple of minutes and flatten into a circular shape using the palm and 4 fingers
6. Get a piece of tinfoil and lay the dough in the centre, spread the dough out to be a diameter of 18 centimeters - it is important to get them as thin as possible without tearing.
7. To cook, heat oil in a frying pan, and place the tortilla into the pan, cook as you would a pancake, for 30 seconds each side, until it is partially golden brown.
For the beans
1. Wash the beans with water
2. Cook the beans, garlic and salt in a pot filled with water, to soften so it will blend
3. Drain the water and liquidize the mixture with onions and chili
4. Fry with margarine and pepper
Put it together
1. Take tortilla
2. Spread the beans over half of the tortilla
3. Top with chicken, a sprinkling of cheese, mantequilla and eggs.
4. Fold tortilla in half
Written by an ICS volunteer in Marcala (recipe and technical expertise provided by Dania)