This Puerto Rican festive recipe is a must have on Christmas day on this part of the world island. This tamal like dish consists of a dough made with green bananas, starchy potatoes and taro filled with a pork based stuffing and wrapped in a banana leaf.

Recipe for 12 to 15 pasteles:

For the dough:
  • 5 green bananas, peeled and chopped
  • 1 plaintain
  • 1 1/2 lb of taro (Yautia), peeled and chopped
  • 1 starchy potato
  • pinch of salt
For the filling:
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 green pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled, crushed and finely chopped
  • 2 lb of lean pork meat (shoulder or ham), cut in small dices
  • 1 cup of tomato sauce
  • 1/2 bunch fresh coriander
  • 2 teaspoons fresh oregano
  • 1/2 cup water
  • salt and paper
  • some vegetable oil
  • 15 12 by 6 inches, banana leaves rectangles
  • roasting string
The dough or masa is made by reducing all the ingredients for the dough into a very fine, thick pure with a food processor. Salt to taste.
Reduce all the ingredients for the filling into a food processor to a coarse mince. Then, in a thick bottom sauce pan cook it for a bout 20 minutes making sure to stir from time to time. Allow to cool down and set aside.
For the assembly, take a clean, dry piece of banana leaf, brush it with a little bit of oil, spread on it about 1/2 cup of the masa, then place 2-3 spoons of filling in the middle of the dough and fold the banana leaf into a neat parcel. Secure with a piece of roasting string. Repeat until all the banana leaves have been used. I have to admit it takes a while to get it wright when you've never done that before.
Cook your parcels in a large pot of simmering salted water for 1h30.

Gluten free, lactose free, nut free, suitable for pregnant women.


  1. gixxer said,

    Wow!that sounds delicious. Que Rico!

    on 04 December, 2009