Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Homemade Papusas.... FAIL.

There is this little place tucked into a mostly hispanic neighborhood here in the 'ville that makes the most incredible food.. It's called a papusa. These are wonderful little Salvadorian corn cakes filled with beans and cheese (or other stuff), flattened out and then cooked on a griddle. It is served with a vinegar based slaw and  together, they are my favorite thing in the world to eat.

Out of curiosity one day, I looked them up on Pinterest. If it is possible for a mere mortal to make, they'll be there. And I wasn't disappointed. There weren't an abundance of recipes, but I only needed one, right? Here's the one I found! It sounded REALLY simple. At first I was worried, could the most amazing food on the planet be this easy?? And then I thought about it... It's peasant food, of course it's simple.

I went to work making the most delicious papusas in the history of papusadom. I made refried beans from scratch, grated queso fresco... This, my readers, was going to be the best meal ever. This is what papusas look like...

And this is what mine looked like.....
Nailed it.
I even got Mr. Needlesandpins involved. He's a chef.. which means he can cook ANYTHING... right?
Wrong. The one on the right is his papusa.

So, here's the recipe. I want one, or all, of you to try it. And have success with it. And please, comment and give me your secret.

Recipe from
2 c Maseca (corn masa flour) *look in Latin American grocers
1 1/4 c warm water
soft, white cheese
Mix the ingredients together, for several minutes. It may look dry, but do not add extra water unless it absolutely will not stick together. Too much water, or too little water will both affect the dough and it will not form a ball properly.
You should be able to roll the masa like playdough into balls. Pat your palms together to flatten the balls into disks, like thick tortillas. If the dough is too sticky, add a tiny bit more of flour; if it is to dry, add a drop more of water.
Fill with cheese (or other fillings, beans, meats, etc)! Put the grated cheese in the middle of the dough, and bring up the sides and pinch close. Re-mold the masa into a fat tortilla again, with the cheese in the middle.
First, heat up a non-stick pan: either a cast iron pan, traditional comal, or a griddle. When it is heated and lightly oiled, cook the pupusas until slightly golden, 4-5 minutes per side.


  1. this is what usually happens whenever I try a new recipe so I try to avoid trying new recipes ;-) why is it so purple in the photo from Pinterest?

    1. The purple on top is a kind of fermented slaw that is traditionally served on them. I made it, but didn't include it in the recipe since it turned out really well. I should have photographed it, but I got all sad after the papusa disaster.

  2. 10 points for effort?? Sorry! I've never even heard of papusas before. I'll have to try them sometime.