With Easter just around the corner, I’ve put together a menu of traditional Ecuadorian Easter recipes so that those looking for them can easily find them. Like most of my recipes, these include adaptations for those who don’t currently live in Ecuador. And yes, it’s a lot of work, but it is possible to have a traditional Ecuadorian Easter meal regardless of where you live. As I’ve mentioned before Easter in Ecuador is a Thanksgiving like celebration when it comes to food – there are several traditional dishes that people eat during Easter holy week or the last week of Lent. The entire meal revolves around a special Ecuadorian Easter soup or stew called fanesca, which is prepared only during this time of year. Fanesca is made with salt cod and a variety of vegetables and grains. Fanesca and the rest of traditional Ecuadorian Easter dishes are either prepared at home, where everyone pitches in to help prepare the meal; or it can also be consumed at most restaurants that serve comida tipica or local cuisine. Here are the most popular Ecuadorian Easter recipes:
Ecuadorian fanesca soup: Fanesca is an Ecuadorian soup or stew made only during Easter or Lent. It is made with bacalao or salt cod, squash, fava beans, chochos, corn, peas, porotos or fresh beans, rice, onions, garlic, cumin, achiote, peanuts, milk, cream and cheese. Fanesca is served topped with hardboiled egg slices, platanos fritos or fried ripe plantains, lime pickled white onions, queso fresco and fried cheese empanadas.
Empanadas de viento or fried cheese empanadas: Empanadas de viento are Ecuadorian empanadas stuffed with cheese and onion, then fried and sprinkled with sugar
Molo mashed potatoes: Molo is an Ecuadorian version of mashed potatoes made milk, cream, queso fresco and a refrito of onions, garlic, and achiote or annatto. Molo is served with lettuce leaves, hard boiled eggs, hot pepper slices, avocados, scallions, cilantro or parsley, tomato and onion curtido and aji or hot sauce.
Curtido de cebolla y tomate: Curtido is refreshing lime pickled red onion and tomato salsa or salad that goes great with the molo mashed potatoes.
Platanos maduros fritos: Sweep ripe plantains fried and topped with cheese
Humitas: Ecuadorian humitas are savory steamed corn cakes or fresh corn tamales, made from a mixture of freshly ground corn, onion, garlic, cheese, eggs, and cream, which is placed inside corn husks and steamed.
Arroz con leche or rice pudding: Classic Latin American rice pudding dessert made with rice, milk, cinnamon, sugar, raisins, and condensed milk.
Dulce de higos or candied figs: Dulce de higos is a dessert of fresh figs cooked until candied in a syrup of panela or brown cane sugar and spices. These delicious figs are served with a slice of queso fresco.