This recipe for Empanadas de Pipian was recommended by Colombian friend Jose. He told me that he and his daughter love to eat these with peanut sauce (aji de mani). The original recipe is from a website about Colombian food called My Colombian Recipes. And the recipe comes from Jose’s home region of Popayan – Cauca. Colombia is a place I would love to visit. In the past, the US had publicised a lot of warning about the danger of visiting. Now I have met a number of people who have had great experiences visiting, especially the countryside. I hope to go one day and to try the local empanadas de pipian!
Dough or Masa
1 cup yellow masarepa or precooked corn meal
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Salt to taste
1 cup warm water
About 1/2 teaspoon sazon goya with azafran (mix of garlic powder, cumin and achiote/saffron)
1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 cooked egg, chopped
2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
1/2 cup roasted peanuts, finely chopped
salt and pepper
2 tablespoon oil
2 tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 scallion chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
black pepper to taste
Vegetable oil for frying
First, place the masarepa in a large bowl. Then add the sazon Goya (or a mix of similar spices), corn starch and salt and stir to mix well. Next, add the water and oil and mix to form dough. Then pat the dough into a ball and knead for 2 minutes or until smooth. Finally, cover with plastic and set aside for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, to make the filling, cook the potatoes in a pot with water for 20 minutes or until tender. Drain and gently mash the potatoes, then set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large, heavy skillet. Next, add the onion and cook over medium-low heat stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, green onions, garlic, bell pepper, cilantro, salt and black pepper. Cook for about 15 minutes. Finally, add the cooked potatoes and mix well.
In a medium bowl place the chopped egg, peanuts, potato and tomato mixture. Mix well to combine.
First, break small portions of the dough, about 1 ½ tablespoons for each one, and form each portion into a ball by rolling between the palms of your hands. Next, place the balls of dough between two pieces of plastic and roll each out very thinly to form a circle. Remove the top plastic and place 1 tablespoon of the filling in the center of each. Then using the plastic underneath, fold the dough over to enclose the filling, forming a half circle. Tightly seal the edges by crimping with the tines of a fork.
Fill a large pot with vegetable oil and heat over medium heat to 360°F.
Carefully place 3 or 4 empanadas at a time in the heated oil and fry for about 2 minutes until golden on all sides.
Using a slotted spoon transfer the empanadas to a plate lined with paper towels. Finally, you can serve the empanadas with aji di mani (recipe below) on the side.
Aji de Mani (sauce)
2 scallions, finely chopped
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3/4 cup roasted peanuts
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
1 large garlic clove
1/4 teaspoon sazon goya with azafran, achiote or color
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and pepper
1 teaspoon habanero pepper
2 cups of water
First, heat the oil in a sauce pan, add the scallions and cilantro. Cook for about 2 minutes. Next, transfer the mixture to a blender and add the rest of the ingredients. If you have a small food processor like me, you can just add about half of the water for blending.
Blend until smooth. Transfer the sauce to the sauce pan, add the remaining water, and cook over medium-low for 12 to 15 minutes. Let it cool and serve. Note: Refrigerate covered up to 1 week.
Go to Recipe Map