Pumpkin fried bread (Sopaipillas)

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I know, I know… This word is very weird, and it is not easy to pronounce for English speakers.

Lets start saying “Chilean Sopaipilla” is a dough made with ripe pumpkin, flour, shortening  and salt, which after rolled in to circles it is fried. Is a typically home made in winter, in rainy days to be served in two versions, one sweet and one savory, or to just have it as it own.

The sweet version is soaked in a sugary water called “chancaca” ( also known as “panela” o “piloncillo” in other Latin American countries) which is basically a black block of sugar almost unprocessed and it has a caramel flavor.

 

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And the savory version is having the “Sopaipillas” to dipped in sauces like Pebre (which you can make using the recipe here), mustard, ketchup, hot sauce, etc.

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Sopaipillas are not a exclusivity of Chile, there are few versions of this fried bread, and some variations on the preparation and its name, depending on the region or  Hispanic American country where they are made. Its name derives from the Mozarabic language, which means some sort of “bread soak in oil or liquid”. Sopaipillas are part of our “moors” heritage from Spain.

In our Chilean version we make an distinctive whole in the center before frying. Sopaipillas are a very important part of our culture, it is a staple in winter when our families share the last meal of the day while is raining, and also is a very common street food in the capital, where always you’ll spot a food stand at the subway’s exit.

Soft, warm, savory and sweet, this weird Chilean “doughnut” is a versatile option as snack, or little meal, or in its sweet version it could be serve as dessert.

Sopaipillas

  • Servings: 4-6
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Ingredients:

1 cup of steamed pumpkin

2 cups all purpose flour

1 tbsp of vegan butter (not coconut oil since it will change the flavor)

1 tsp of sea salt

water or plant based milk if needed

oil to fry

Let’s do it!:

  1. In a bowl mix the flour and salt
  2. add the pumpkin and the butter ( you can replace the butter for 2 tbsp of vegetable oil) and with a wooden spoon or spatula mix the ingredients dissolving those pumpkin chunks in to the flour.
  3. Mix until everything is incorporated, if the mixture looks so dry you can add 1 tbsp of plant base milk or water at the time. Use your hands and kneed it a couple of times, the dough it should be soft and very even.
  4. On a lightly flour surface place the dough and roll it out to a approx.  1/2 inch.
  5. Whit a cookie cuter or something with a round shape like a small plate, small bowl or even a jar cut the dough in circles of 3 inches in diameter.
  6. Put the oil in a pan and prepare it to fry at high heat. Check the oil temperature with a wooden stick, if it bubbles the oil is hot enough to start frying.
  7. Make a hole with your fingers in the middle of the dough before you put it inside the pan, this will help to cooking it faster and evenly.
  8. Once the sopaipilla starts to floating around, flip it to get golden color in both sides. At high heat this process should take no more than 30 to 40 seconds. also if you have a shallow pan you can fry more than 1 sopaipilla at time.
  9. now you sopaipillas are ready to be served with your favorite sauce, enjoy!!!

 

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