The primary ingredient of chipa is manioc flour, ground from a tuber that is also known as mandioca, yuca, cassava, and tapioca root. Those chipas are similar to Colombian pan de queso, or Brazilian pao de queijo, the famous cheese bread from the state of Minas Gerais. With the same cassava flour, you can also make Brazilian breadsticks called biscoito de polvilho or our feroce d’avocat from the French West Indies. When it is only made with cassava flour, it is referred to as chipa de almidón. However, a number of recipes use both cassava flour and corn flour. The corn flour that is used for chipa is not the same as the one used for Mexican tortilla, which is nixtamalized corn flour, also called masa harina over there. Instead, it is standard fine corn meal, similar to the one used to make polenta. Chipas are definitely a national institution in Paraguay. The town of Coronel Bogado, which is the capital of chipas, even hosts an annual festival of chipas. The word chipa comes from the Guarani language and it generally means cake or bread.
- ⅔ lb cassava flour
- ¼ lb corn flour (fine corn meal)
- ½ cup butter
- 3 eggs , beaten
- ½ lb Paraguayan cheese , grated (or a mix of mozzarella and parmesan)
- 1 teaspoon anise seeds
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup milk
# Preheat oven to 420 F (220˚C).
# In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the butter and the eggs. Mix for a couple minutes. Incorporate the grated cheese and anise seeds.
# Dissolve the salt in the milk. Add to the mixture. Then, add the cassava flour and corn flour and continue mixing until well combined.
# Divide the dough into quarters, then divide each quarter into 4 equal sized balls. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
# Roll each ball into a rope of about 6 inches (15 cm) long and ½ inch (1 cm) thick. Bring ends together to form a circle and press to seal. Place 3 inches (8cm) # apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
# Bake chipas for 20 to 25 minutes until slightly golden.