Chipa Paraguay Recipe

Beyond the curiosity to discover Paraguay, when I think about visiting this country, a profound sense of security comes to mind.
Here is a country in which the long bus trips are punctuated every hour by the peddlers getting on the bus for a few minutes to sell chipas. This to me is comforting and welcoming!
These cheese and anise seeds buns are often sold in the streets or in bakeries, and they are a national institution. The town of Coronel Bogado, which is the capital of chipas, even hosts an annual festival of chipas. The word chipa comes from the Guarani language and it generally means cake or bread.
Beyond being a language spoken today by 70% of the population, the term GuaranĂ­ not only refers to the Paraguayan currency but also to the ethnic group. The Guarani are an indigenous people from the Amazon regions of Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay. Only the GuaranĂ­ people occupied the Latin American area before the Spanish colonization began in the fifteenth century. But in addition to this community that has always lived there, there are now descendants of Spaniards, Germans, Dutch, Amish who came from Eastern Europe in the 1920s or even Italian immigrants in the 1940s.
This melting pot has obviously had a significant influence on the Paraguayan culinary specialties. Chipas are just the perfect illustration. You can actually trace these buns back to Jesuit historical documents from the colonial era where this Guarani specialty made of cassava or maize flour is often cited.

Recipe of Chipas

Ingredients (16 chipas)

– 1/2 lb of cassava flour
– 1/3 lb of cornmeal
– 1/2 tablespoon of baking powder
– 1 tablespoon of salt
– 4 eggs
– 1/2 cup of milk
– 8 tablespoons of unsalted butter
– 1 tablespoon of anise seeds
– 3/4 cup of grated mozzarella
– 1/4 cup of grated parmesan
– 1/3 cup of crumbled feta
– 1/2 cup of grated cheddar
– fleur de sel

Preparation

  1. First mix the cassava flour, cornmeal, salt and yeast.
  2. Add the diced butter and work the dough with your fingertips.
  3. When the butter is fully incorporated, add the eggs previously beaten, milk and cheese.
  4. Toast the anise seeds briefly in a hot pan to bring out their aroma.
  5. Add them to the dough and mix with a spatula to form a ball of dough. The dough should be a little sticky but nevertheless detach from the container.
  6. Divide the dough into 4, then divide each piece into 4 again. Form balls with each piece and put these balls of dough on a plate or baking sheet, lightly dusted with cornmeal.
  7. Cover with a cloth and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  8. Give the chipas a donut or ovoid shape, slightly dusting the work plan and the hands with cassava flour. Sprinkle the top with a pinch of salt.
  9. Arrange chipas on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper and sprinkled with cornmeal.
  10. Bake about 12 minutes in the oven preheated at 400F.
  11. Serve hot or warm.

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