Reviro is a beloved traditional dish from Alto Paraná, one of the 17 departments of Paraguay. This humble yet delicious crumbly fried dough can be savored by itself or sprinkled with sugar for a touch of sweetness. In our family, Reviro is a favorite. For breakfast, we often pair it with Cocido Quemado, a traditional Paraguayan drink made from yerba mate.
At lunchtime, it goes great with Bife Kyogua, a Paraguayan meat stew topped off with egg on top. While making Reviro is simple to make, it does require effort as you need to work the dough until it becomes crumbly. But trust me; the results are well worth the elbow grease.
My approach to making Reviro is a nod to my grandmother’s methods. Childhood memories of her making this dish are dear to me. Today, I’m delighted to share my Reviro recipe with you. I hope it brings you as much happiness as it has to my family!
- What is Reviro?
- Who invented Reviro?
- About this Reviro Paraguayo Recipe:
- Reviro Ingredients
- Tools you’ll need
- How to Make Reviro
- How to Serve
- How to Store & Re-Heat
- How to Freeze
- Tips for Making The Best Reviro Paraguayo
- Watch How to Make Reviro Paraguayo
- See More Paraguayan Recipes:
- 📖 Recipe
What is Reviro?
Reviro is a traditional Paraguayan dish, often referred to as “poor man’s bread.” It’s a simple fried dough made from basic ingredients such as all-purpose wheat flour, water, salt, and fat (usually lard or oil). The dough is mixed together to form a paste-like consistency and then fried until golden brown.
Reviro is often enjoyed as a side dish or a snack in Paraguay. It’s known for being filling and satisfying, making it a staple food for many people. The simplicity of its ingredients and preparation method makes it an accessible option, especially in areas where more elaborate or expensive foods might not be readily available.
Who invented Reviro?
Legend has it that a mother was crying because she had no food to offer her children. Her tears fell into the pot of flour she was stirring, providing the moisture to make the dough. Thus, reviro was born. Reviro is still a must food in the kitchen of the humblest missionaries. However, it has become a traditional food in the whole region. Sometimes, it replaces bread at meals, especially at breakfast or lunch. It can be accompanied by minced meat, fried egg, or mate cocido.
On the other hand, another theory says that the origin of the reviro resulted from the desperate hunger of the mensúes (Paraguayan rural workers). The owners of the yerbatales (yerba mate field) did not feed their workers. Months went by, and the mensúes were left to fend for themselves. The only two foods that were always available were flour and fat. One day, out of necessity, the mensúes made the reviro dough using the few available ingredients.
Thus, the first “breakfast of champions” was born: reviro with mate cocido. The truth is that I don’t know if the legend or theory is true, but one thing I do know is that the recipe is delicious. So without further ado, here is my recipe that I am sure you’ll love.
About this Reviro Paraguayo Recipe:
- Taste: This Reviro Paraguayo recipe offers a neutral flavor that can be enjoyed in both savory and sweet variations.
- Texture: The recipe creates a delightful contrast in texture that’s both tender inside and crispy outside, with a slight chewiness.
- Method: The method is simple and involves making the dough, frying it until golden brown, and then carefully breaking it apart to achieve the characteristic crumbly texture.
Note: The full ingredients list is provided in the recipe card below.
- All-purpose Flour: is the main ingredient in reviro and provides the structure and bulk of the dough. It’s essential for creating the dough’s texture and holding it together during frying.
- Milk/Water Combination: In this recipe, I use a combination of both milk and water to hydrate the flour and form the dough. This dual approach effectively binds the flour particles, creating a workable consistency ideal for shaping the dough. However, it’s worth noting that you can opt for either milk or water based on your preference or ingredient availability.
- Salt (To Taste): Salt is added for flavor enhancement. Even though reviro is a simple dish, a pinch of salt can significantly improve its taste by balancing out the flavors and making them more enjoyable.
- Oil or Lard (For Frying): Used in both the dough and frying, it serves as the cooking medium that achieves a crispy, golden-brown exterior for the reviro. This adds not only texture but also a delightful richness to the final product.
Tools you’ll need
How to Make Reviro
Note: The full instructions are provided in the recipe card below.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and salt until they are well combined. Create a well in the center of the flour mixture. Into this well, pour 4 tablespoons of oil, followed by the beaten egg. Gradually add water while stirring continuously with a wooden spoon. Continue this process until you achieve a dough that is wet, stretchy, and sticky.
Next, in a large Dutch oven or a heavy-duty stainless steel pot, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Make sure the oil gets hot, but avoid letting it reach its smoking point. Carefully place the dough into the hot oil. Allow it to fry without moving it until the bottom becomes golden, a process that might take several minutes. Once the bottom is golden, flip the dough to cook the other side until golden.
Using a wooden spoon, begin breaking apart the dough, hitting and stirring continuously until it starts to crumble. Lower the heat and persistently work on the dough until it disintegrates into small, crispy, golden-brown crumbs. Once the dough is fully crumbled and has a golden hue, remove it from the heat and let it cool slightly before serving.
- All-purpose flour: You can use any other type of flour, such as bread or whole wheat flour, but the texture and flavor of the reviro may differ slightly.
- Egg: If you don’t eat eggs or are allergic, you can omit them from the recipe. However, it may be less rich and may not hold together as well.
- Water or milk: You can use either water or whole milk in the recipe or a combination. You can also use non-dairy milk, such as almond or soy, which may affect the recipe’s flavor.
- Kosher salt: You can use any salt, such as table salt or sea salt, but be sure to adjust the amount accordingly since different salts have different levels of saltiness.
- Sunflower or any neutral oil: You can use any other neutral-tasting oil, such as canola oil, vegetable oil, or grapeseed oil, to fry it.
- Cheese reviro: Add grated cheese to the dough to create a cheesy version. You can use any cheese you prefer, such as cheddar, mozzarella, or parmesan.
- Spicy reviro: Add some heat to the recipe by mixing chili powder, cayenne pepper, or red pepper flakes into the dough.
- Sweet reviro: For a sweet twist, add some sugar, cinnamon, or nutmeg to the dough. You can sprinkle it with powdered sugar or drizzle it with honey.
- Herb reviro: Add chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, cilantro, or basil, to the dough to create an herbaceous reviro.
- Gluten-free reviro: Use gluten-free flour, such as rice flour, almond flour, or coconut flour, instead of all-purpose flour to make the reviro gluten-free.
- Vegan reviro: Omit the egg and use non-dairy milk, such as almond or soy, to make the recipe vegan-friendly. You can also use a vegan cheese substitute if making a cheese version.
How to Serve
It is typically served as a side dish to Bife Kyogua or with a simple fried egg on top. It can also be served plain or with a sprinkle of sugar or a drizzle of honey. However, the most popular pairing is with the traditional “Cocido Quemado” during breakfast time.
How to Store & Re-Heat
To store: Allow the reviro to cool completely, and then transfer it to an airtight container or resealable plastic bag. You can store it at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to a week.
To reheat: When you’re ready to have the reviro, you can quickly warm it up in a microwave. Just heat for about 20-30 seconds until it’s warm throughout.
Reviro can be prepared a day in advance. Once cooled, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. To serve, reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop over low heat until warmed through.
How to Freeze
Reviro tastes best fresh. However, it can be frozen for later use. After cooking, let it cool. Then, place it in a freezer bag, pushing out all the air, or in a freezer-friendly container. When you want to eat it, thaw it in the fridge. To warm it up, use the microwave, oven, or stove. It might not be as crispy as when first made, but it’ll still taste good. If you have leftovers, freezing is a good way to store them for another time.
Tips for Making The Best Reviro Paraguayo
- Use a neutral oil: Use a neutral oil, such as sunflower oil, canola oil, or vegetable oil, for frying it. This will allow the flavors to shine through without overpowering them with the taste of the oil.
- Use enough salt: Make sure to use enough salt in the recipe to enhance its flavors. If you don’t use enough salt, the reviro may taste bland.
- Keep the dough moist: Add enough liquid to keep it moist and tender. If the dough is too dry, the reviro may end up dry and lacking tenderness.
- Fry at the right temperature: Ensure the oil is hot before frying it. The reviro will be greasy and soggy if the oil is too low. If the oil is too hot, this recipe will burn.
- Serve immediately: Serve it immediately after frying to enjoy it at its best. If you have to store it, store it in an airtight container or plastic bag at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Can I use a different type of flour?
While all-purpose flour is traditionally used, you can experiment with other flours like whole wheat or corn flour. However, note that this may alter the taste and texture of the Reviro.
Can I make Reviro without eggs?
Yes, you can omit the eggs to make a vegan version. The eggs contribute to the richness and binding of the dough, but it’s possible to create a similar texture using other binding agents or just water.
How do I know if the dough is ready to fry?
The dough should be soft, slightly stretchy, and slightly sticky. It should hold its shape but not be overly dry.
Can I make Reviro in advance?
Reviro is best enjoyed fresh, but you can make it a day in advance and store it in an airtight container. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop.
Can I freeze Reviro?
Yes, you can freeze Reviro after frying. Thaw in the fridge and reheat in the oven or on the stove. Note that the texture may change slightly after freezing.
What dishes can I serve with Reviro?
Reviro can be enjoyed on its own, with a sprinkle of sugar, or paired with dishes like Bife Kyogua (Paraguayan meat stew) or Cocido Quemado (traditional Paraguayan drink).
How do I achieve a crispy texture?
Frying the dough at the right temperature will help achieve a crispy texture.
Watch How to Make Reviro Paraguayo
See More Paraguayan Recipes:
How to Make Reviro Paraguayo
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and salt until they are well combined. Create a well in the center of the flour mixture. Into this well, pour 4 tablespoons of oil, followed by the beaten egg. Gradually add water while stirring continuously with a wooden spoon. Continue this process until you achieve a dough that is wet, stretchy, and sticky.
- Next, in a large Dutch oven or a heavy-duty stainless steel pot, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Make sure the oil gets hot, but avoid letting it reach its smoking point. Carefully place the dough into the hot oil. Allow it to fry without moving it until the bottom becomes golden, a process that might take several minutes. Once the bottom is golden, flip the dough to cook the other side until golden.
- Using a wooden spoon, begin breaking apart the dough, hitting and stirring continuously until it starts to crumble. Lower the heat and persistently work on the dough until it disintegrates into small, crispy, golden-brown crumbs. Once the dough is fully crumbled and has a golden hue, remove it from the heat and let it cool slightly before serving.
All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.