Vori vori is the soul food of Paraguay.
To me, it is a hybrid between good old American chicken soup and the pottage my French grandmother Clémence used to make. That must be why I love it so much.
It’s just a feel good food. I made it for the first time on my own this week instead of mooching off my neighbors. Here is my attempt at a recipe, after watching people make it so much and trying it out on my own.
Vori Vori Ryguasu
- 5 cloves garlic, minced (I like my food on the stinky side)
- 3-4 small onions, diced
- 1 large carrot, diced
- 1 small green pepper, diced
- 2 green onions
- 2 tomatoes, diced
- Parsely to taste
- Salt, pepper to taste
- 1-2 tablespoon cumin powder
- 300-500 grams chicken, bone in for a better broth
- 50-100 grams queso paraguaya (but mozzarella also works fine)
- 250 grams (ish) of corn flour
This is like a chicken soup recipe – guidelines only. Everyone makes theirs a different way. The vegetables here are the ones I used last week, but I would like to try with celery and possibly leek when I am back in the states.
- Brown garlic and onions in a little oil until clear and brown chicken on both sides.
- Add water to cover that and get that simmering, just like you are making chicken soup.
- Add cumin, salt and pepper.
- Add the rest of your veggies and let it simmer for at least 30 minutes.
- Take out the chicken and put the soup mixture in the blender (I like my vegetables pureed, but others here prefer the vegetables whole)
- Put everything back in your pot, and add 1/3 of your corn flour to thicken the soup. This is also by preference. More corn flour if you want a thicker soup and vice versa.
Make your vori vori dumplings:
- Mix in a little salt with your corn flour and break off small pieces of cheese into the mixture.
- Make a “well” in the middle of your bowl and add a little of your broth from the pot to moisten mixture and form small balls with your hands. They will be about 2-3 cms in diameter.
- Plop those into the soup, and let them simmer in there for about 5 minutes, really just so the broth gets soaked into the middle (you can cut one in half to check).
Serve with fresh oregano on top.
This is – truly – the BEST of Paraguayan cuisine. It’s something simple and homey; I have yet to meet a volunteer that does not at least tolerate this even if they hate all other typical Paraguayan food. I’ll be making this a lot when I get back.