Baleada – Honduran Balaeda

Starting the second week of Blogging marathon, i will be posting Tortilla based recipes, recipes which has a tortilla as base.Tortilla, in Spanish means “small torta”, or “small cake”, is a type of soft, thin flat-bread made from finely ground wheat flour. Originally derived from the corn tortilla, a bread of maize, the wheat flour tortilla was an innovation after wheat was brought to the New World from Spain. It is made with an unleavened, water based dough, pressed and cooked like corn tortillas. Flour tortillas are commonly prepared with meat, mashed potatoes, cheese and other ingredients to make dishes such as tacos, quesadillas and burritos.
The tortilla is made from specially treated maize flour, which has been a staple food of the Mexican region since Pre-Colombian times; these are also now commonly made from wheat flour. The maize and wheat Mexican tortillas have different textures: the maize (corn) version is somewhat thicker and heartier in texture, while the wheat version is less easily broken due to its high gluten content, and can be made larger in circumference and thinner without breaking too easily.

In that genre, today i give you Balaeda’s. Baleadas are one of Honduras’s most original and popular foods. A baleada is a wheat flour tortilla, often quite thick, folded in half and filled with mashed fried beans.There are different kinds of baleada according to the ingredients chosen by the customer or the region of Honduras.

Simple baleadas  filled with refried red beans, cream/crema, cheese
Special baleadas filled with refried red beans, cream/crema, cheese, scrambled eggs
Super special baleadas filled with refried red beans, cream/crema, cheese, scrambled eggs, chicken, ground meat or sausage.

The filling can be very versatile, you can stuff anything you like into it and make a delicious meal. I made a wheat flour tortilla and for the stuffing made a red-kidney bean puree, something like hummus and a lip-smacking capscicum masala to go with it. It was a complete meal in all aspect, bread, spread and veggies all in one fold. 


Source here
Ingredients
For the capsicum masala
2 nos green capsicum 
1 small onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 large tomato
1 green chili, chopped
1/2 tsp red chili powder
1/4 tsp black pepper powder
salt to taste

Method

  • Wash and slice the capsicums thinly. Chop the onions and tomatoes. Heat oil in a pan, add onions and garlic, saute until translucent. 
  • Now add chopped tomatoes, chili and pepper powder. Let the tomatoes cook until soft. Add chopped capsicums, salt and  sprinkle water, cover and cook for 10 minutes in a simmer flame. 
  • After 10 minutes, take the cover and let it cook for another 2 minutes, take it off the flame. Let it cool, keep aside until use. 
For the Red kidney bean paste
1/2 cup of red kidney beans/rajma beans, pre-soaked
a small onion
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 tsp pepper powder
1/4 cup of milk (or cream)
salt to taste

Method

  • Pressure cook the kidney beans for 3 whistles or you can even cook it in a microwave for 15 minutes. Drain the water. In a sauce pan, heat oil, add chopped onion and garlic, saute until translucent. 
  • Add the cooked beans and saute for a minute. Add cream/milk  and pepper powder to this and take it off the flame. Let it cool completely. 
  • Add salt and puree it using a hand blender. Keep aside until use. 
Ingredients for the Tortilla dough
1.5 cups Whole Wheat flour (Not Chapathi atta)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp oil
1/2 cup – 3/4 cup of warm water

Method

  • I kneaded the dough using a food processor, it can also be kneaded by hand. Take the flour, salt, baking powder together in the processor bowl. Run at a low speed for the contents to mix well. 
  • Slowly add warm water followed by oil and knead a smooth,soft, pliable dough. Let the dough rest for 15 minutes. Divide the dough into 8 portions.
  • Clean your kneading surface well, sprinkle it generously with flour. Take one portion of dough, keeping the rest covered. Roll out the dough into a large, thin circle. 
  • Heat a skillet, it should be hot, place the rolled out dough on the hot skillet and turn quickly after 10 seconds. flip and cook both sides quickly until brown spots appear on top.
  • Do not cook the tortilla for long, it will turn hard. To get a soft tortilla, keep the griddle hot, flip and cook every 10 seconds. Do not cook the tortilla for more than a minute. 
  • Keep the cooked tortilla covered in a tea towel.  Repeat the same with rest of the dough.

Assembling the Baleada

  • Take a tortilla, spread a tbsp of red kidney bean puree, top it with capsicum masala, spread a generous sprinkle of cheddar cheese. Fold and serve.
  • They taste better, when served hot. So, better keep the spreads ready and have a helping hand in the kitchen to serve as you cook the tortilla.