ParaguayDishPastel Mandio

Pastel Mandi’o recipe: Paraguay’s Gastronomic Treasure Unveiled

Embark on a culinary voyage to Paraguay as we uncover the secrets of Pastel Mandi’o, a revered dish that epitomizes the rich and diverse flavors of Paraguayan cuisine. Pastel Mandi’o, often hailed as a gastronomic treasure, showcases the creativity and resourcefulness of Paraguayans in transforming humble ingredients into a delightful culinary masterpiece. In this blog, we will explore the key components that define Pastel Mandi’o and guide you through the step-by-step preparation, providing a taste of Paraguay’s unique and savory traditions.

Understanding Pastel Mandi’o: A Fusion of Tradition and Ingenuity:

Pastel Mandi’o holds a special place in Paraguay’s gastronomic repertoire. The dish represents a beautiful fusion of indigenous flavors, Spanish culinary influences, and the inventive use of local ingredients. Mandi’o, which means “cassava” in Guarani, takes center stage in this dish, contributing a distinct texture and flavor that sets Pastel Mandi’o apart.

Ingredients for Authentic Pastel Mandi’o:

Pastel Mandi’o, at its core, is a celebration of simple yet flavorful ingredients. Let’s delve into the essential components that contribute to the savory magic of this Paraguayan delight.


  1. Cassava (Mandi’o): 4 cups, peeled and grated. The heart of the dish, lending a unique texture.
  2. Cornstarch: 1/2 cup, for binding.
  3. Salt: 1 teaspoon, or to taste.


  1. Carne Molida (Ground Beef): 1 pound, cooked and seasoned.
  2. Onion: 1 large, finely chopped.
  3. Bell Peppers (mixed colors): 2, diced.
  4. Tomatoes: 2 medium-sized, chopped.
  5. Garlic: 4 cloves, minced.
  6. Hard-Boiled Eggs: 4, sliced.
  7. Green Olives: 1/2 cup, pitted and sliced.
  8. Raisins: 1/4 cup, for a touch of sweetness.
  9. Cumin: 1 teaspoon, ground.
  10. Paprika: 1 teaspoon, smoked or sweet.
  11. Salt and Pepper: To taste.
  12. Vegetable Oil: 2 tablespoons, for sautéing.

Additional Ingredients:

  1. Egg Wash: 1 egg mixed with a tablespoon of water, for brushing.
  2. Vegetable Oil: For frying.

Preparation: Crafting the Perfect Pastel Mandi’o:

The art of crafting Pastel Mandi’o involves a careful balance of textures and flavors. Let’s embark on the step-by-step journey to create an authentic batch of Pastel Mandi’o that captures the essence of Paraguay’s culinary heritage.

Step 1: Preparing the Cassava Dough:

  1. Peel and Grate Cassava: Start by peeling and grating the cassava. Squeeze out excess liquid to achieve a dry and fluffy texture.

  2. Mix with Cornstarch and Salt: In a large bowl, combine the grated cassava with cornstarch and salt. Mix well until the ingredients are evenly incorporated.

  3. Shape into Discs: Take portions of the cassava mixture and shape them into thin, round discs. Ensure an even thickness for uniform cooking.

Step 2: Preparing the Filling:

  1. Cook Ground Beef: In a skillet, cook the ground beef until browned. Season with cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper for a flavorful base.

  2. Sauté Vegetables: In the same skillet, sauté chopped onions, diced bell peppers, and minced garlic until softened. Add chopped tomatoes and continue cooking until the mixture forms a cohesive filling.

  3. Incorporate Olives, Raisins, and Eggs: Fold in sliced green olives, raisins, and hard-boiled eggs, creating a medley of textures and flavors.

Step 3: Assembling Pastel Mandi’o:

  1. Place Filling on Cassava Discs: Spoon a generous portion of the beef and vegetable filling onto the center of each cassava disc.

  2. Fold and Seal: Carefully fold the cassava disc over the filling, creating a half-moon shape. Press the edges to seal the Pastel Mandi’o, ensuring the filling is enclosed.

Step 4: Frying Pastel Mandi’o:

  1. Heat Oil for Frying: In a deep skillet or pan, heat vegetable oil for frying. Ensure the oil is hot but not smoking.

  2. Fry Until Golden Brown: Carefully place the assembled Pastel Mandi’o into the hot oil, frying until each side achieves a golden-brown hue. This typically takes 3-5 minutes per side.

  3. Drain on Paper Towels: Once fried to perfection, transfer the Pastel Mandi’o to a plate lined with paper towels to drain excess oil.

Step 5: Serving and Enjoying:

  1. Serve Hot: Pastel Mandi’o is best enjoyed hot and fresh. Serve immediately, savoring the crisp exterior and flavorful filling.

  2. Optional: Salsa or Dipping Sauce: Some prefer to serve Pastel Mandi’o with a side of salsa or a flavorful dipping sauce for an extra burst of taste.

Tips for Perfect Pastel Mandi’o:

  1. Cassava Preparation:

    • Dry Texture: Squeeze out excess liquid from the grated cassava to achieve a dry and fluffy dough.
  2. Filling Variation:

    • Customization: Feel free to customize the filling based on personal preferences. Some variations include adding diced potatoes or hard-boiled eggs.
  3. Even Dough Discs:

    • Uniform Cooking: Ensure the cassava discs are shaped evenly to promote uniform cooking.
  4. Sealing Technique:

    • Secure Edges: Press the edges of the cassava discs firmly to ensure a secure seal, preventing the filling from leaking during frying.
  5. Oil Temperature:

    • Hot, Not Smoking: Maintain the right oil temperature—hot enough to achieve a golden-brown color without smoking.
  6. Fresh Enjoyment:

    • Best Served Hot: Pastel Mandi’o is at its best when enjoyed fresh and hot. Serve immediately for maximum flavor.

Conclusion: Pastel Mandi’o, A Culinary Triumph:

In conclusion, Pastel Mandi’o is not just a dish; it’s a testament to Paraguay’s culinary creativity, resourcefulness, and the ability to turn simple ingredients into a gastronomic triumph. As you savor each bite of this savory delight, let the unique texture of cassava, the flavorful filling, and the warmth of Paraguayan hospitality transport you to the heart of South America.

Whether enjoyed as a snack, appetizer, or part of a festive meal, Pastel Mandi’o embodies the spirit of Paraguay’s culinary heritage. So, gather your ingredients, embrace the art of crafting these savory parcels, and relish in the experience of savoring a plate of Pastel Mandi’o—a true taste of Paraguay’s culinary excellence.

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