Arepas in Colombia are similar to those made in Venezuela, but you will most typically see them made as flat pancakes with meats and cheeses placed directly on top, as opposed to the thicker patties that are cut open and stuffed in Venezuela. This dough is simpler than the Venezuelan dough in this cookbook since it does not require the mashed potato.
- Yield: 4 Arepas
- 1 cup (128 g) arrowroot starch
- ½ cup (56 g) sifted coconut flour
- ½ tsp cream of tartar
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp fine Himalayan salt
- 2 tbsp (28 g) palm shortening or lard
- 2 tbsp (30 g) canned pure pumpkin puree, or 1 large egg, beaten
- 2 tbsp (15 to 30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil or lard for frying, dairy-free cheese, carne mechada,or any of your favorite meats from this cookbook (optional), for serving
- In a mixing bowl, combine the arrowroot starch, coconut flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. Use a fork to cut the shortening into the flour mixture. Add the pumpkin puree (or egg) and ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon (135 ml) of water. Use your hands to work into a dough.
- Divide the dough into 4 portions. Roll each into a ball and then flatten into a disk no more than ½ inch (1.3 cm) thick.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
- In a large skillet, heat the fat in over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Fry the arepas for 2 to 3 minutes per side until lightly golden, but not too much. Place on a baking sheet and brush with a little extra fat if any areas seem dry.
- Bake for 13 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
- To serve, top with pollo desmechado. You can also make an arepa con queso by placing a large slice of dairy-free cheese on top. Bake it with the “Queso” Blanco on top for about 5 minutes, or the “Queso” Amarillo for 1 to 2 minutes. You can also top it with traditional Venezuelan fillings carne mechada or reina pepiada or another meat of your choosing.