Bolivian Food Recipes

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Bolivian food,facts and recipes. Traditional food recipes of Bolivia

Bolivia has a diversity of geographical zones with varied climate, culture and food. Bolivian cuisine has a great variety of dishes mainly meat, fish and poultry blended with herbs and spices. The diet also consists of fresh fruit and vegetables.

Some traditional dishes include 'Majao', which is a rice dish with eggs,beef and fried banana, ‘Silpancho’, meat served with rice and potatoes, 'Pacumutu' a rice dish with grilled beef, fried yucca and cheese, ‘Saltenas’ and ‘Empanadas’ which are meat or vegetable pies, ‘Locro’ is a soup made with rice, chicken and banana and ‘Chicharron de Pacu’ made with the local Pacu fish, rice and yucca.

The recipes for various Bolivian dishes are given here.



5 cups water

1/2 pound charque (dry and salty meat)

1 cup rice

1/2 cup onion (without washing), thinly sliced

1/2 cup tomato, peeled and minced

1/4 teaspoon salt (if charque is not very salty)

1/2 cup oil

4 seeds urucú soaked in 1/2 water cup (paprika will also work)

1/2 cup water or broth

1 teaspoon salt

To Serve

1/2 fried plantain

2 slices yucca (also known as cassava or tapioca) cooked and fried

1 fried egg


1. In a large pot, pour the five cups of water and set it to boil over high heat. Once it is boiling add charque and let it cook until it is tender. Remove from heat and shred the meat.

2. To the water where meat is cooked, add rice and salt. Let it cook over medium heat for twenty-five minutes more or less, until the rice is well cooked, but not dry.

3. In a small casserole, heat 1/4 cup of oil over medium heat. Add the shredded meat and stir-fry until golden. Remove from heat.

4. In the casserole, add the remaining 1/4 cup of oil and heat it over high heat. Add the onion and stir-fry for a while. Add tomato, urucú, water or broth, and salt. Let it cook for five minutes. Then add the fried shredded meat and mix. Finally, add the meat mixture to the rice pot. Mix everything. For good results, the whole mixture does not have to be dry. If necessary, add some water or broth.

Serve hot, with the fried egg on top, the fried plantain and the fried yucca.




2 pounds beef (cut into very thin slices)

6 large potatoes

6 eggs

2 cups bread crumbs

½ cup fresh onion (very finely chopped)

2 tomatoes (chopped small)

1 fresh locoto (a small green pepper)

1½ cups of cooked rice


salt to taste



1. Wash and peel the potatoes, and boil them whole until they are tender and edible. When they are done, cut each potato into thick slices and toast in a pan with a little oil until golden brown (like french fries).

2. Boil 3-4 cups of water, set aside.

3. Toast the rice in a hot pan, stirring constantly so that it does not burn.

4. Cook the rice in 3 cups of the hot water, with a little salt in low heat, until fully cooked.

5. While the rice is simmering, take each thin piece of beef, place on a cutting board sprinkle with salt and pepper, and pound with a meat mallet it until it is very tender.

6. Heat a pan with some oil, not too hot, Dip the beef into the breadcrumbs and ensure each piece is completely covered with breadcrumbs, then fry in the hot oil. Fry on both sides until the beef is cooked. Carefully turn it several times so that the breadcrumbs do not get burnt. When finished, set aside.

7. Fry the eggs.

8. On a plate, place a large amount of rice. On top of the rice place one silpancho (the beef). On top of the silpancho place one fried egg and decorate it with the chopped tomatoes, onions, and hot peppers. Place a few of the fried potatoes on the side and serve.




• 1 ½ Kg soft pulp (Fillet)

• 1/4 Kg Chaco or Mennonite cheese

• 1 cup rice estaquilla

• 1 ½ Lb cooked Yucca

• 1 cup of diluted or evaporated milk

• 2 tablespoons smooth butter

• 4 large onions

• 1 pimento morron

• 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

• 1 teaspoon freshly ground garlic

• Salt

• oil


 1. Cut the meat into large pieces.

2. In a deep dish, place the meat then marinate with pepper, garlicand salt; Sprinkle with edible oil and let it set for at least two hours.

3. Rice with cheese:

         Wash the rice and cook in four cups of water over low heat, add a finely minced medium onion, salt and a dash of oil, when the rice is medium boiled, reduce the heat; then shed milk and cover the pot. Leave for two minutes. Now open the lid of the vessel and add the grated cheese and cover it and cook for another 2 minutes on a low flame.

4. Deep fry the meat in a pan with hot oil. In the same pan,saute chopped onions and pimento morron cut into medium-sized squares. In the end, overlap the onion and the pimento morron with meat.

5. Serve pacumutu, sprinkled with its juices, accompanied with cassava and rice with cheese.




1 cup lard or margarine

1 cup ground spicy red pepper (cayenne) mixed with water

½ tablespoon ground cumin

½ tablespoon black ground pepper

½ tablespoon crumbled oregano

1½ tablespoon salt

2 cups white onion, cut into small cubes

1½ cups green onion, finely chopped

3 pounds lean meat, cut into small cubes

1 cup potato, peeled, cooked, and cut into small cubes

½ cup cooked green peas

¼ cup granulated sugar

½ tablespoon vinegar

½ cup parsley, finely chopped

2 spoonfuls unflavored gelatin dissolved in 3 cups water

½ black olive, 3 raisins

1 slice of boiled egg


In a casserole, add the margarine and the spicy red pepper. Set to boil over high heat until the margarine separates from the pepper. Next add cumin, ground black pepper, oregano, and salt. Let it cook for ten minutes over low heat so that the mixture does not stick. Stir constantly. Now, add the white onion and let it cook for five more minutes. Finally add the green onion.

Remove the casserole from the heat, add sugar, vinegar, parsley, potato and cooked peas.

In another casserole, add three cup gelatin. Let it cook over high heat and as soon as it starts to boil, add the meat. Mix quickly and remove from the heat.

Mix the first preparation with the gelatin and meat. Let it cool in the refrigerator one night or until it thickens. If wanted, add the olives, raisins and egg before it thickens or add them directly on the dough when preparing the saltenas.



12 cups flour

1½ cups lard or margarine

6 whole eggs

½ cup sugar

3 teaspoons salt

2¼ cups lukewarm water (more or less)


Sift the flour in a bowl and add the boiling lard or margarine. Mix quickly with a wooden spoon. Let it cool for a few minutes. A add the eggs, sugar and lukewarm water with salt. Knead until getting a dry dough. Cover the dough with a kitchen towel and let it rest for ten minutes.

Divide all the dough into fifty small balls and flatten them out one by one with a roller, until getting round-shaped pieces .On each round-shaped piece, put a spoonful of the filling with the olive, raisins and egg, if these ingredients were not mixed before.

Dampen the edges of each piece with water, fold each one and join the edges very well so that each saltena is closed perfectly. Leave the closing on top.

Put the saltenas on a backing sheet sprinkled with flour. Place each saltena separate from the next one. Bake them at a high temperature (European oven: 300 C.; American oven 572 F.) for seven to ten minutes. Serve them warm.



For the filling:

(It must be prepared the night before)

1 1/2 lbs. top round steak cut in 1/2 inch cubes

1 lb. potatoes cut in 1/2 inch cubes

1 cup peas

2 cups finely chopped onions

1 tablespoon aji (hot ground red pepper)

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

1 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon prepared mustard

1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce (optional)

4 cups beef consomme (hot)

2 envelopes unflavored gelatin


Parboil potatoes and peas separately. Brown the onion and cook until tender. Dissolve the red pepper in 1/2 cup water. Add cumin and pour into the onions. Add sugar and salt.

In a big bowl, mix the drained potatoes and peas, the meat (raw), the onion mixture, the parsley, oregano, mustard, Worcestershire Sauce and the consomme in which the gelatin has been dissolved. Mix well and chill.

For the pastry:

8 cups flour

1 lb. vegetable shortening

1/2 cup sugar

1 1/2 cups water mixed with 1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon achiote or oruco seeds


The achiote or oruco seeds are used to color the dough, which should be a deep yellow. Fry them in 1 tablespoon of shortening and strain, reserving the colored oil. Keep it hot.

Mix the flour with the sugar. Heat the shortening and pour over the flour and sugar, adding the oil obtained from frying the seeds. Mix thoroughly with the flour and then add the water and salt, which has been warmed. Knead until the dough is smooth. Work while everything is still warm. Cut into pieces and roll into approximately 2-inch balls. With a rolling pin, flatten the balls until a stack of round, very thin pastries are obtained.

Before filling the pastries, have ready:

4 hard-cooked eggs, sliced

4 oz. seedless raisins, soaked in water and drained

1 - 6-ounce can black ripe olives, pitted

Put a tablespoon of the filling crosswise on each pastry round, adding 1 thin slice of egg, 3 raisins and 1 olive. Moisten the edges of the pastry with water, bring the edges together and seal them, rolling them with the thumb so that the closing looks like twisted rope. The finished pastry should resemble a slightly deflated football laced from one end to the other across the top.

Bake in a preheated 400-degree oven until golden brown and serve immediately.




• 2 lbs/1 kg squash, pumpkin or sweet potato peeled and cut into 1 in/2.5 cm chunks.

• 1/2 cup water/ 120 ml

• 1 onion, chopped

• 2 garlic cloves, minced

• 1 tomato, chopped

• 1/2 tsp oregano

• 1/2 c frozen corn

• 1 lb/ 450 g potatoes, cut into cubes and parboiled

• 1/2 c frozen lima beans

• 1/2 c peas

• 1 c feta

• 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

• oil


1. Pour the water into a pan with the squash and bring it to boil; cook until it begins to soften.

2. While that is happening, heat the oil in another pan and saute the onion, garlic, tomato, oregano, salt and pepper. Pour this mixture into the squash and mix well.

3. Add the corn, potatoes and beans. Let them cook gently for 10 min.Now, add the peas.

4. When the corn is cooked, crumble the cheese and add.Cook it by stirring continuously.

Serve with parsley on top.


Peter Bilton
Posted on Mar 26, 2012
Posted on Apr 27, 2011