Dominican arepa is a cornmeal and coconut cake, traditionally prepared in an iron pot on top of red-hot coals. A metal lid is placed on the pot, then more coal is put on the lid. Venezuela and Colombia also have their version of arepa, which is nothing like the Dominican version. Theirs is more like a tortilla filled with meat and cheese, and referred to as “Venezuelan arepa.”
3 cups fine cornmeal
1 cup coconut milk
3 cups milk
½ cup butter, at room temperature
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons sugar
¼ cup fresh shredded coconut
1 teaspoon anise seeds
Preheat the oven to 375.
In a large bowl mix the cornmeal with the coconut milk and add 1½ cups of milk. In a heavy skillet cook this mixture at medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Gradually add the rest of the milk, the sugar, and the salt, until you obtain a smooth mixture.
Let it cool for 10 minutes and add the eggs, butter, coconut, and anise seeds. Mix well. Cook for another 10 minutes at medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Pour the mixture into a well-greased casserole or cake pan, roughly 8 ½” x 11”.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Variation: for a different take on arepa, one that does not include eggs and is sweeter, visit Dominican Cooking, also known as Aunt’s Clara’s table. It’s worth checking out for more Dominican recipes.
Notes and Instructions
Recipe Source: The Mariposa Foundation