Panela (unrefined whole cane sugar, typical of Latin America, which is basically a solid piece of sucrose and fructose obtained from the boiling and evaporation of sugarcane juice), 2/3 (we used brown sugar, 250 gr)
Yellow cornmeal, 500 gr
White cheese (hard or semihard) (grated), 500 gr
Plantain (pintón) (not green, not too ripe), 1
Water, 7 cups
Oil (for deep frying)
In a large saucepan place the Panela (or brown sugar) in 6 cups water, cook under low fire until it's completely dissolved.
Remove from the fire and allow
In a large saucepan with water enough to cover it, boil the plantain (halved, unpeeled) until it's soft.
Drain and mash, set aside.
When the sugar mixture is room temperature, add it little by little to the cornmeal.
Mix until getting an homegeneous (without any lumps
Then add the mashed plantain and half the cheese
and continue kneading until you have all the ingredients together.
To make the mandocas, make dough balls (larger than
a lemon but smaller than an orange) and then shaped into ropes.
These ropes join the ends and you have the mandoasc
with its characteristic shape (drop-shaped with a hole in the middle) (ours are
The seventh cup of water is to be softening the dough by adding water little by little just the neccesary, because they must be strong so as not to absorb too much of the oil while
frying but if the dough is very hard then they will
crack when joining the ends.
Fry in abundant hot oil, first one side then the
other until golden brown.
They are eat the other half of the grated cheese, splitting the mandoca with the hands and pressing the pieces the cheese to stick to them.