Welcome to the vibrant and flavorful world of Belizean cuisine, where every bite tells a story of rich cultural influences and culinary expertise. In this culinary adventure, we set our sights on one of Belize's beloved street foods – Garnaches. These delightful morsels are a testament to the country's diverse flavors, blending indigenous ingredients with Spanish, Caribbean, and Mayan influences.

Garnaches are a beloved snack that captures the essence of Belizean street food, featuring crispy tortillas adorned with layers of savory goodness. Whether you're exploring the bustling markets of Belize City or creating a taste of Belize in your own kitchen, this recipe promises a symphony of textures and flavors that will transport you straight to the heart of this Central American paradise.

Join us as we unravel the secrets behind crafting perfect Belizean Garnaches, celebrating the fusion of tradition and innovation that makes this dish a true culinary gem. Get ready to embark on a gastronomic journey that will tantalize your taste buds and introduce you to the irresistible charm of Belizean street fare.



  • 2 cups masa harina (corn flour)
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • Pinch of salt
  • Vegetable oil for frying

Refried Beans:

  • 1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Cheese Topping:

  • 1 cup grated queso fresco or feta cheese

Cabbage Slaw:

  • 2 cups shredded green cabbage
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Prepare the Tortillas:

1-In a bowl, combine masa harina, water, and a pinch of salt. Knead until a soft dough forms.

2-Divide the dough into golf ball-sized portions and press each ball between two sheets of parchment paper to form thin tortillas.

3-Heat vegetable oil in a pan and fry the tortillas until golden brown. Set aside on paper towels to drain excess oil.

Make the Refried Beans:

1-In a pan, heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium heat.

2-Add chopped onions and garlic, sauté until softened.

3-Stir in the black beans, cumin, salt, and pepper. Mash the beans with a fork or potato masher until you achieve a creamy consistency.

Prepare the Cabbage Slaw:In a bowl, combine shredded cabbage, grated carrot, cilantro, lime juice, salt, and pepper. Toss well to combine.

Assemble the Garnaches:

1-Take a fried tortilla and spread a generous layer of the refried beans.

2-Sprinkle grated cheese on top of the beans.

3-Finish by adding a generous portion of the cabbage slaw.

Serve and Enjoy:

1-Arrange the garnaches on a platter and serve immediately.

2-Optionally, provide hot sauce or salsa on the side for those who enjoy an extra kick.

Now, savor the delightful combination of crispy tortillas, creamy beans, tangy cheese, and refreshing cabbage slaw that defines the unique and delicious taste of Belizean Garnaches. Enjoy this authentic Central American street food experience!

Nutritional Values:

It's important to note that nutritional values can vary based on specific brands and quantities used. Below are approximate values for the listed ingredients per serving, assuming the recipe yields 4 servings:

Masa Harina (Corn Flour):

  • Calories: 200
  • Carbohydrates: 40g
  • Protein: 4g
  • Fat: 1g
  • Fiber: 4g

Benefits: Good source of complex carbohydrates, dietary fiber, and essential minerals. It provides sustained energy and supports digestive health.

Water (1 1/4 cups):

  • No significant nutritional value.

Benefits: Essential for overall hydration and helps in various bodily functions, including digestion, nutrient transport, and temperature regulation.

Vegetable Oil for Frying (estimated 1 cup used):

  • Calories: 1920
  • Fat: 216g
  • No carbohydrates, protein, or fiber.

Benefits: Provides healthy fats, including monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Supports brain health, nutrient absorption, and cell structure.

Black Beans (15 oz can, drained and rinsed):

  • Calories: 360
  • Carbohydrates: 60g
  • Protein: 24g
  • Fat: 2g
  • Fiber: 24g

Benefits: Rich in protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Promotes heart health, regulates blood sugar levels, and provides sustained energy.

Vegetable Oil (2 tablespoons):

  • Calories: 240
  • Fat: 28g
  • No significant carbohydrates, protein, or fiber.

Onion (1 small, finely chopped):

  • Calories: 20
  • Carbohydrates: 5g
  • Protein: 1g
  • Fat: 0g
  • Fiber: 1g

Benefits: Contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. Supports immune health, may reduce the risk of chronic diseases, and adds flavor to dishes.

Garlic (2 cloves, minced):

  • Calories: 10
  • Carbohydrates: 2g
  • Protein: 0g
  • Fat: 0g
  • Fiber: 0g

Benefits: Known for its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Supports heart health, immune function, and may have potential anticancer effects.

Ground Cumin (1 teaspoon):

  • Calories: 8
  • Carbohydrates: 1g
  • Protein: 0g
  • Fat: 0g
  • Fiber: 0g

Benefits: Contains antioxidants and may have anti-inflammatory properties. It adds a distinctive flavor and aroma while potentially aiding digestion.

Queso Fresco or Feta Cheese (1 cup grated):

  • Calories: 396
  • Carbohydrates: 8g
  • Protein: 20g
  • Fat: 32g
  • Fiber: 0g

Benefits: Good source of protein, calcium, and phosphorus. Supports bone health, muscle function, and provides essential nutrients.

Shredded Green Cabbage (2 cups):

  • Calories: 40
  • Carbohydrates: 10g
  • Protein: 2g
  • Fat: 0g
  • Fiber: 4g

Benefits: Low in calories, high in fiber, and rich in vitamins K and C. Promotes digestion, supports immune function, and provides antioxidants.

Carrot (1, grated):

  • Calories: 30
  • Carbohydrates: 7g
  • Protein: 1g
  • Fat: 0g
  • Fiber: 2g

Benefits: Excellent source of beta-carotene, vitamins, and minerals. Supports eye health, skin health, and provides antioxidant benefits.

Fresh Cilantro (1/4 cup chopped):

  • Calories: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 0g
  • Protein: 0g
  • Fat: 0g
  • Fiber: 0g

Benefits: Contains antioxidants and may have anti-inflammatory properties. Adds freshness to dishes and provides a burst of flavor.

Lime Juice (2 tablespoons):

  • Calories: 8
  • Carbohydrates: 3g
  • Protein: 0g
  • Fat: 0g
  • Fiber: 0g

Benefits: Rich in vitamin C, antioxidants, and citric acid. Supports immune health, aids digestion, and adds a zesty flavor to the dish.

Please note that these values are approximate and may vary based on specific product brands and measurements. Adjustments can be made based on dietary preferences and nutritional needs.


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