When your mother sends you a recipe with a note that says “YOU MUST MAKE THIS RIGHT NOW!” well, that’s just what you do!

Chipa is a type of cheesy bread that can be traced back to the 18th century where it was made by the indigenous Guaraní in South America. Apparently, the original Guaraní process calls for only cassava starch and water, but over the years eggs, milk and cheese were introduced into the recipe, a by-product of the arrival of colonists and Jesuit missionaries. Today you’ll find these treats sold in small bags by street vendors across South America, and in the town of Coronel Bogado in Paraguay there is even an annual festival of chipas!

Chipas are similar to pão de queijo (a popular cheese bread in Brazil) or the Colombian pan de queso. Traditionally they are meant to be shaped like a horseshoe, but they are also lovely as a breadstick, which you can serve with dips and butter. Our recipe calls for two types of cassava flour polvilho azedo (sour manioc starch) andpolvilho doce (sweet manioc starch). You can find them sold at Sous Chef here and here or at specialised Brazilian and Portuguese shops.

You’ll need:
1 cup sweet manioc starch
1 cup sour manioc starch
1 egg
1 1/2 parmesan (or any dry cured cheese)
1 pinch salt
50g butter (softened)

Pre-heat your oven to 200C. Mix all the ingredients with the tip of your fingers (the dough should come together easily). Prepare a tray with butter or oil and shape your chipas into horseshoe arrangements (as pictured or as you wish). Bake for 15 minutes, and enjoy!