Salteñas (Bolivian Dish)


A Salteñas is a savoury pastries filled with beef, chicken, pork or vegetables and mixed in a sweet and slightly spicy sauce or very spicy sauce. The typical Salteñas can be found in any town or city throughout the Bolivia. It is a tradition to enjoy Salteñas as a mid-morning snack, the vendors are often starting selling Salteñas early in the morning and many customers are buying Salteñas as their heavy breakfast.

It is complete with bread and also the tasty fillings of Salteñas. The pastries are sold anywhere in Bolivia 7am to noon. Salteñas are juicy; it is like a stew in a pastry. To achieve the juiciness of this dish they are usually adding gelatin so that the stew hardens and will melt when they are baked.

Here are the ingredients of Bolivian pride dish.
In this recipe this can cook for about 50 pieces of Salteñas.


For Fillings

1 cup lard or margarine
1 cup ground spicy red pepper (cayenne) mixed with water
½ tbsp. ground cumin
½ tbsp. black ground pepper
½ tbsp. crumbled oregano
1½ tbsp. 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 tbsp. vinegar
½ cup parsley, finely chopped
2 spoonful unflavoured gelatin dissolved in 3 cups water
½ black olive per salteñas
3 raisins per salteñas
1 slice of boiled egg per salteñas


In a pan, add margarine, and red pepper over medium to high heat.
Add cumin, black pepper, oregano and salt.
Cook for about 10 to 15 minutes over low heat. Stir occasionally.
Add white onion and cook for another 5 minutes.
Remove pan from heat and add sugar, parsley, vinegar, peas and potato.
In another pan, add three gelatin cups.
Let it cook and add the meat.
Mix quickly and remove from the heat.
For the gelatin and meat to cool, set aside and when the mixture is warm place it in refrigerator overnight until it thickens.
You can add olives, egg, raisins in the gelatin and meat mixture if desire but you can add them separately when starting to prepare Salteñas.


For Dough

12 cups flour
1½ cups lard or melted margarine
6 whole eggs
½ cup sugar
3 tsp. salt
2¼ cups lukewarm water (more or less)


In a big bowl, add flour and melted margarine or lard.
Mix quickly with wood spoon.
Let it cool and add the eggs, salt, lukewarm water and sugar.
Divide the dough into 50 small balls and thin them one by one using roller.
On each dough, put spoonful of filling with olive, eggs and raisins if these ingredients were not mixed before.
Dampen the side of the dough with water and fold each one side of the dough and join every edge very well so that the fillings are closed perfectly from the dough.
In a baking sheet sprinkled with flour and put the Salteñas.
In a preheated oven (572°F or 300°C) bake the Salteñas for about 7 to 10 minutes.
Serve warm.
Note: If desired, paint the dough with melted margarine before baking. Also, Salteñas is perfect with chicken meat fillings or you can combine both.

They are more of a football shaped than flat like empanadas, the trick to eat Salteñas is hold them upright, nibble the top corner and work your way down without spilling the fillings and any of the juices of Salteñas. In addition to that, it works well with Llajwa or Bolivian Salsa, it is a combination of Jalapeño pepper, tomato and onions and put in food processor.

Have you ever made other dip for Salteñas? Feel free to share it by making a comment below. I am sure it will be fun if there are many dip used in Salteñas. Happy Eating!!!

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