Cassava Pastelle

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I absolutely love pastelles, so I am always willing to show its many variations, like this one called Cassava Pastelle.  When I see them I feel like I am celebrating Christmas regardless of the time of the year.  So far, I’ve made pastelles and shown you some variations in the years gone by, so I know you might just be thinking why would I come and post another pastelle recipe. I like giving people choices; everyone likes choices.  Don’t you? Now we’re getting somewhere.

Cassava Pastelle: Another Variation

Not everyone likes cornmeal flour, and there are a few who suffer from allergic reactions from eating corn.  I have done a flour pastelle recipe that is a good substitute for cornmeal flour, but then there are those who are allegic to gluten in flour as well.  So, what could we do for the few who still want to enjoy a good pastelle this season? Innovate. Here is one for you I know you would definitely love.

A Pastelle Dough made from Cassava

I am really excited to share with you this Cassava Pastelle recipe, an idea which was given to me by my esteemed cooking mentor while on the phone a few days ago (yes, I have a mentor).  This idea however is simple and not far fetched because in my research, I’ve come across another version of pastelle dough made from other types of provisions such as a combination of green plantain, dasheen and potato.  The Puerto Ricans make this type of dough called masa.

You’d be surprised at the smooth texture of the dough which is quite natural for boiled cassava.  However, I  must caution you that preparation time for this cassava dough may take a few  minutes more than other doughs.  It’s a bit labour intensive, but really worth the time.

When you boil the cassava, you will have to remove the “string” in the middle and then mash it with a fork, and then use your hands to help the cassava make a finer meal.  Most times mashed cassava will have a few stiff lumps.  These will have to be removed as well.  All this work will pay off in getting a smooth easy-to-press dough.

Even though a little more time is needed in preparing this dough it is quite easy to make and the reward in the end is even better. People will surely want the recipe from you when they taste it lol!! So, without further delay here’s Cassava Pastelle. Enjoy!

Cassava Pastelle Recipe


cassava pastelle

3 medium cassava
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup olive oil
Water to boil the cassava

1 lb minced beef
2 onions, finely chopped
1 bunch chive
1 bunch big leaf thyme
1 hot pepper to taste, finely chopped
1 pimento pepper, finely chopped
1 stalk celery
2 cloves garlic
20 leaves chadon beni
1 bunch fine leaf thyme
Salt to taste
¼ cup roucou (or ketchup)
2 tbsp. capers (optional)
2 tbsp. raisins (optional)
8 olives chopped finely (optional)
2 -3 large fig (banana) leaves
String to tie
4 tbsp. oil
Wash and peel the cassava.

Note: To easily peel the cassava make a spiral mark along the length of it. Then use a knife to easily lift the skin.

Boil the peeled cassava in a deep pot of water.
The cassava is good when a knife goes through it easily.
Dice the cassava and then mash it with a  strong fork.
Remove all the firm pieces of cassava and continue softening  it with your hands.
Set aside.
Melt the butter.
Add the melted butter and olive oil to the cassava.  Mix well.
The softened cassava dough is pliable and can be rolled easily.
Separate the dough into smaller balls.
You should get about 20 – 22 small balls for your pastelles depending on the size of the cassava.
Place some oil in a saucer.
Roll each dough lightly in the oil.
Placed the small ball on a greased square piece of banana leaf wrapping.
Place another square leaf wrapping over the ball.
Press the ball flat and fill with the meat filling.
Click here for directions on preparing the filling.
Use the leaf to help you fold the sides of the dough.
Fold the leaf wrapper neatly over the pastelle…
…and tie with a piece of string.
Steam the pastelles for 25 -30 minutes. Set aside to cool before serving.
Note: If you don’t have a steamer here’s what you can do. Heat a pot of water and place a metal colander over the pot  that contains the pastelles. Then cover the colander and allow to steam.  Easy peasy!! :-)

More recipes to come.

Ah gone!

Don’t forget to leave your comments in the comment box below about this innovation variation of pastelle, cassava pastelle.


  1. ronnie says

    I have never tried this version of pastel before but I am sure going to give it a go. Sounds delicious!!! Cornmeal can be quite bland and I am all for adding flavor without detracting from the taste of the other ingredients. Great idea!!!!!

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