Majadito: Bolivia’s Treasure
El “Majadito” is one of the most famous dishes of Bolivia. It comes from the eastern side of the country, from the very heart of Santa Cruz de la Sierra. This dish was created during the pre-Columbian era when people mostly depended on meat, cassava, plantains, rice, and other grains. The word “majau” means smashed meat; -ito is a Spanish diminutive suffix.
El majadito has become a traditional dish found in all nine departments of Bolivia. The traditional ingredients for this succulent dish include rice, jerky, chopped onions, urucu seeds (to color the rice), eggs, plantains, garlic and cumin. However, nowadays, el majadito can be prepared in many ways. Some people have replaced the jerky with chicken or duck meat. The original majadito was toasted and boiled rice, but now we also have the “majaditobatido”: This kind of majadito is not toasted, but it is thicker and heavier.
The usual accompaniments for both are fried plantains and eggs.
The conventional preparation of the traditional majadito is as follows.
- Wash the jerky several times in order to reduce the salt, then put to a boil.
- After the jerky is on point, cut it into pieces.
- In another pan, fry the onions and the other vegetables.
- Add the rice and the jerky in a pan and fry them.
- Later pour them in a cooker and, while boiling, add urucu seeds to dye the rice.
- Once you have the jerky and rice steamed along with the fried vegetables, fry the plantains and eggs.
- After that, serve it: pour the rice mixed with the jerky accompanied by the fried eggs and two strips of fried plantains.
The recipe for el majaditobatido is a bit more laborious. You will need the same ingredients as for the first recipe, but only adding eight cups of water.
- First, brown onions in a pot along with the garlic and the other vegetables, adding coloring; let this cook about five minutes, stirring occasionally.
- For cooking the beef, oil a pan and let it heat up.
- Then, pour the meat and once the beef has turned brown, add the vegetables and mix well. Don’t toast the rice; simply boil it and once the rice is well cooked, add the vegetables and the beef.
- Now that all these ingredients are in one cooker, add water and let it rest about thirty minutes for the cooking/stewing process.
- Remember to stir and check the seasoning so the majadito doesn’t get sticky.
The only thing left is serve all this with fried eggs and plantains.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Talis Vanessa Montero is Bolivian. She loves books, music and movies. She enjoys the small pleasures in life, such as a cup of coffee in the middle of the night.