Soya Pastelle

Well, the wait is finally over: I got my shopping done and did some painting today. The wifey already started putting up the curtains and I’m already feeling that oh so Christmassy feeling. All I need is a little house Parang and I’m good to go. :-)   Anyhow, to start things rolling I’m starting you all off with soya pastelle.

Another Pastelle Recipe: Soya Pastelle

This pastelle recipe is for all my veggie friends and followers… or for those of you who just want to keep it “ital” for this coming Christmas. With that being said, soya pastelles are not alien to me, since my youngest sister doesn’t eat meat, save for seafood and eggs. So, I have been enjoying a soya pastelle or two during the Christmas season for a few years now.

It’s a bit different, tastes good, but a meatitarian ( another invented word LOL !) , like myself, will always know that it’s not meat that we’re eating. So today I will be short because as you will see by the sheer length of the post, I really went wild with the pictures, just to get the recipe as accurate as possible. Here’s soya pastelle.

Soya Pastelle Recipe


Soya Pastelle



For the dough
6 cups Promasa cornmeal
7 cups water

To season the soya
3 cups dried minced soya
5 bundles chive
2 heads garlic
5 bundles chadon beni
2 hot peppers* (optional)
15 pimento peppers
2 tbsp grated ginger
5 sprigs fine leaf thyme
5 leaves big leaf thyme
2 medium onions
1 dash oregano

To cook the soya
6 cloves garlic, grated
1/2 cup oil
3/4 cup roucou
2 tbsp salt
1/2 cup ketchup

Yield: 38 -40 pastelles

* two hot peppers will make this pastelle very spicy. If you want you can use only one pepper or don’t use any at all.


Grind the seasoning and set aside.

Note: The seasoning ingredients must be ground dry.
Boil the soya for about 15 mins.

Then strain and squeeze out the excess water by pressing with the back of a spoon.

The soya is ready to season.

Add the ground seasoning and mix thoroughly.
Heat oil over a medium flame and add garlic. Cook for 1 minute.

Then add the seasoned soya…
…roucou, salt and ketchup.

Cook for 15 minutes until some of the excess water dries.
Note: Turn the soya constantly while cooking until you get a semi dry consistency.

Mix the dough and make balls about 2 inches in diameter.
Note: When making the balls place a bit of oil in your hands. Place the balls on an oiled surface and cover with a damp cloth.

Carefully place the leaf over a low fire on the stove.
As you notice the colour of the leaf change move the leaf along the fire.
Be careful not to burn. The leaves will become pliable. Wipe clean.

How to assemble 1st method(banana leaf)

Dip the ball in a little oil…
…then place it on a piece of banana leaf about 10 inches wide on the pastelle press..
place a bit of oil on another banana leaf and place
on the other side of the pastelle press.
Alternatively you can use your hands to flatten the dough.

Press the dough and remove the top banana leaf.

Put desired amount of soya (about 2-3 tbsp) …
and fold in half…
fold again

then fold in the two opposite sides.
…and turn over.

Tie with string.

The string should be about 40 inches long. What we usually do is cut a bag and strip the strands to make string.
How to assemble 2nd method ( foil )

Cut a piece of foil about 12 inches wide and place a small piece of banana leaf.
Press the dough as usual either by hand or with a pastelle press.
Place desired amount of soya (2 -3 tbsp)…
…and fold in half… Fold again…
Then fold the two opposite ends tightly

The finished pastelle. Place in freezer or boil.

Note: What we usually do at home is to place the pastelles in the freezer uncooked and when we’re ready for pastelle then we boil them. Some people boil the pastelles then freeze them. Whichever way you choose though is up to you.

Boil for 15 – 20 minutes and drain. Serve hot.
Whew! That was one long post. See you soon with more Trini Christmas recipes. Ah gone!


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12 Responses to Soya Pastelle

  1. sangeeta December 20, 2009 at 10:55 am #

    this looks neat !!
    new flavors for me but we make a dish called farey using the same technique of stuffing n boiling ..

  2. December 20, 2009 at 3:39 pm #

    felix this is fabulous! I cannot make these for xmas as I am heading home but I have everything to make them here at home when I get back. I will link to your blog for the recipe so that people can see what a great thing this is. I want one now! It reminds me of how we do conkie slightly> You know conkies?

  3. Felix December 20, 2009 at 4:43 pm #

    I thought I didn’t know what conkies were but after looking at the recipe ingredients I realise I have been eating conkies ever since. It just that we don’t call it conkies here in Trinidad: it’s called Paime. We love to make paime also during the Christmas season.

  4. Felix December 20, 2009 at 9:57 pm #

    @ sangeeta The more I post the more I feel that what’s going on is that we’re cooking similar things: just within a regions cultural context.

  5. WizzyTheStick December 21, 2009 at 1:03 am #

    Great tutorial and a useful recipe to satisfy the vegetarians and vegans. I don’t like soya pastelles. As you said the ‘meat mouth’ in me can taste the difference. They are not bad – just different. Another wegetarian variation uses lentil peas. Have you tried those?

  6. Felix December 21, 2009 at 2:05 am #

    Wizzy we’re thinking along the same line. If I do get the time I would like to make a few lentil pastelles. As you say though, they can’t really satisfy a “meat mouth” :-)

  7. kaaya's December 25, 2009 at 8:06 pm #

    hey felix,

    very informative post, so don’t mind the length..looks delicious and like u have already mentioned to sangeetha looks like many cuisines are similar and have evolved borrowing from each other…have been following your site for a while now and would request more vegetarian recipes :)

  8. Felix December 26, 2009 at 4:59 am #

    I’ll keep that in mind when I’m planning next year’s recipes. Thank you and Happy Holidays.

  9. jjm1151 December 8, 2011 at 12:55 am #

    this is the best yet thank u I am reaaaaaaaaaly going to spend a Trinidad Xmas

  10. jjm1151 December 8, 2011 at 12:56 am #


  11. Acid-Burn June 27, 2012 at 1:32 am #

    Definitely going to try this. It looks delicious. I really would like more vegetarian recipes please. I use your site alot when I’m looking to try something new in the kitchen.

  12. Felix June 27, 2012 at 5:51 pm #

    Thanks for the comment Acid-Burn. more vegetarian dishes to come. I promise :-)

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