Paraguayan tortillas called Payagua mescada is a hearty deep fried fritter that is often served as a meal by itself. It is believed that it originated after the triple alliance war back in the late 1800's. Food was scarce and so one dish hearty meals became popular. Although this is called a tortilla, it is not what most people consider a tortilla. It is more like the Spanish tortilla which makes sense since Paraguay gained independence from Spain in 1811.
Paraguayan tortillas are also called lampreado or lambreado. We had it as the starter for our International Cuisine meal and it did not disappoint. What is not to love about meat, onions and yuca fried together to make a fritter?
Mandioca is what yuca or cassava is called in Paraguay. It is a staple ingredient as it is indigenous there. Mandioca is served with literally every meal in one form or another. It is considered a resistant starch, it is filling and is used the same way potatoes are in many other countries in the world.
If you want to make this recipe plant paradox friendly, simply use grass fed ground beef, arrowroot starch instead of cornstarch and avocado oil for frying. Yuca, aka mandioc, or cassava is high is carbohydrates with a low glycemic index. It is naturally gluten free. It also contains saponins to help ease inflammation and balance your gut flora and minerals that perform numerous important functions in the body.
Did you know that Paraguay is a landlocked country but has a navy? If you would like to learn more, be sure to check out "Our Journey to Paraguay". there you can also find more delicious and authentic Paraguay recipes.
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- 1 lb ground beef
- 2 lbs cassava
- 1 small onion chopped finely
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 Tablespoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin, ground
- 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
- Peel cassava, and boil in salted water until tender about 20 minutes
- Meanwhile, in a saucepan cook the ground beef and onion over medium heat until the meat is browned and onion is soft, about 5 to 10 minutes.
- Drain the cassava and mash into a puree. Add the mashed cassava into the ground beef mixture. Add in the garlic, salt, cumin and cornstarch and mix well.
- With wet hands form little patties, the size of small hamburgers.
- Heat oil in a large skillet, over medium heat fry the tortillas until golden brown, flip over and fry on the other side until golden brown as well. Remove from oil and place on a paper towel to remove any excess oil.
- Serve warm