Plantain empanadas with mango and sweetcorn salsa and arroz verde


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serve


Appears in

Pure Vegetarian

By Paul Gayler

Published 2006

  • About

It is vitally important that the plantains are just ripe (yellow with black mottling), as overripe black plantains are too starchy to wrap the beans.


  • 3 yellow-black mottled plantains (about 900 g)
  • 300 g black beans
  • vegetable oil for cooking
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 green pepper, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 125 g feta cheese, crumbled
  • 110 g plain flour
  • fresh coriander leaves to garnish
  • 120 ml sour cream (optional)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Arroz Verde

Green Rice

  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 green chilli, deseeded and quartered
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 100 g fresh coriander leaves
  • 425 ml good vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 200 g long-grain white rice

For the Mango and Corn Salsa

  • 200 g tinned sweetcorn, drained
  • 1 mango, stoned and cut into 1 cm dice
  • 25 g chopped fresh coriander
  • 2 firm but ripe tomatoes, cut into 1 cm dice
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup


Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/gas mark 7. Using a small knife, cut a slit through the peel of each plantain from top to bottom along the inner curve, then place in a baking tin. Bake in the oven for up to 50 minutes. Leave to cool for 1 hour.

Cook the black beans in boiling salted water for 30-40 minutes and drain.

Heat a little vegetable oil in a frying pan, add the onion, garlic, chilli, green pepper and cumin and cook over a low heat until tender. Add the beans and cook for 5 minutes for the flavours to infuse, then add the honey and vinegar. Cook for a further 1 minute, transfer to a bowl and leave to cool. Mash the mixture finely with a potato masher and season to taste. Add the feta and set aside.

Peel the plantains, then blend in a food processor until they come together as dough. Remove, add the flour and roll the dough in lightly oiled hands into eight equal-sized balls. Roll out the dough balls with a rolling pin to about 1 cm thick. Fill each of the rolled dough balls with a good spoonful of the black bean mixture and fold over carefully to form pasties, crimping the edges with your thumb and finger to seal. Prepare all the same way. Refrigerate until required.

For the green rice, place the onion, chilli, garlic, coriander and half of the stock in a food processor, blend well until smooth and season with a little salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a heavy-based pan and add the rice, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Add the green stock and the remaining vegetable stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat but keep covered, allowing the rice to steam for a further 5 minutes.

For the salsa, mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and season to taste.

Heat 5-7 cm of vegetable oil in a deep-fat fryer or large pan to about 160°C/325°F, add the empanadas and fry for about 2-3 minutes until golden. Transfer to kitchen paper to drain. Serve the empanadas on a bed of the green rice, with the cool tasting salsa alongside and garnish with the coriander leaves and a good dollop of the sour cream, if desired.