Bandeja Paisa

Bandeja Paisa is a traditional dish from the Paisa region of Colombia. It is supposed to be a humble dish, with a variety of inexpensive ingredients. One of my grandmother’s friends from Colombia would invite us to her home frequently for a special bandeja paisa lunch. I learned how to make it from her. It is a delicious and filling dish.

There as many variations of the bandeja paisa as there are cooks. I learned how to make it with beans, carne en polvo, and miniature sized arepas. Also on the bandeja paisa, you will find white rice, fried plantain slices, avocado, fried pork belly, and a fried egg. It sometimes also has sausage, and/or black pudding.

Arepas
Click here for the Arepa recipe. For the bandeja paisa, you can make them full-sized, or you can make a smaller version.

Beans
I like to soak beans in hot water for 1 hour before cooking. But you can follow whatever method works best for you. (overnight soaking in cold water, or just start cooking them right away).

Ingredients:
• 2 teaspoons olive oil
• 1 lb cargamento beans (or red kidney beans)
• 1 small onion, finely chopped
• 1 small carrot, finely grated
• 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
• ½ teaspoon cumin
• Piece of salt pork
• Salt and pepper to taste

Procedure:
1. Add olive oil to a large pot and turn heat to medium. Add onion, carrot, garlic, and cumin. Cover and cook until vegetables soften, about 5 minutes.
2. Add beans with soaking water. Water should cover beans by about one inch.
3. Cook over medium low heat. Once beans start to soften, add salt. Cook until beans reach the consistency you desire.

Carne en polvo
Ingredients:
• 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 lb ground beef
• ½ teaspoon garlic powder
• ½ teaspoon onion powder
• ¼ teaspoon coriander
• ½ small onion, chopped
• 6 cloves garlic, chopped
• 1 large plum tomato, chopped
• 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, chopped
• Salt and pepper to taste

Procedure:
1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the beef, garlic powder, onion powder, coriander, chopped onion, and chopped garlic cloves. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until the beef is browned. Add the tomato and cilantro and cook for another 5 minutes. Let cool slightly. Place the mixture in a food processor and pulse until it turns into fine crumbs. Don’t process for too long, you don’t want to end up with a paste. Re-heat before serving.

Serve the beans, arepa, and carne en polvo with white rice, fried plantain slices, fried pork belly, and avocado. The bandeja paisa is traditionally served with a fried egg on top, I skipped the fried egg this time. Buen provecho!

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7 thoughts on “Bandeja Paisa

  1. looks good! i have a Colombian friend and i’m helping to make food for her wedding – and a good beans recipe is a must. Thinking about trying this sans meat. Thanks for posting!

  2. Viva Colombia. Uno de nuestros mejores platos tradicionales. Soy Tolimense, pero me encanta la BANDEJA PAISA, mi esposo es Manizalita. We love BANDEJA PAISA; try it and let me know about it.

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