Bolivia: Tawa-Tawas

Bolivia has a diversity of geographical zones with varied climate, culture and food. Their cuisine incorporates a great variety of dishes, mainly meat, fish and poultry blended with herbs and spices. The diet also consists of fresh fruit and vegetables.

Some traditional dishes include Majao which is a rice dish with eggs,beef and fried banana, Silpancho meat served with rice and potatoes, Pacumutu, a rice dish with grilled beef, fried yucca and cheese, Saltenas and Empanadas which are meat or vegetable pies.

Popular desserts are cocadas, pukacapas, and Tawa-Tawas, or sweet fritters. What makes the Bolivian version unique is their use of cane honey in the final product.


2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon butter, melted
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup water or milk
2 cups butter or oil to fry
1 cup cane honey

In a large bowl, sift flour, baking powder, and salt together. Add butter and mix well. Add the beaten eggs and then water or milk, little by little, mixing very well after each addition until the dough is smooth.

Place the dough on a table, slightly sprinkled with flour, and knead it. Let it rest for ten minutes, covered with a dish cloth or towel.

Divide the dough in half. Working with one half at a time, stretch it out until it becomes very thin (about a tenth of an inch). Cut the dough into small rhombus-shaped pieces, approximately 2" wide. Then cover them with a cloth. Repeat the process with the remaining half of dough.

In a large, heavy-bottomed pan, heat oil at a high temperature. Fry several pieces simultaneously. Once they are golden on one side, turn them over until they are golden on the other side too.

Remove the tawa-tawas from the frying pan, drain them and place them on a paper towels to absorb oil. Finally, place them in a tray and pour cane honey over them. If desired, sprinkle with fine sugar as well.

Yield: 60 two-inch rhombus-shaped tawa-tawas.

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