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Vegetarian Pastelles

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Appetizers
Cuisine: Hispanic
Servings: 12
Author: Felix (Simply Trini Cooking)

Ingredients

  • Filling
  • 2 cups bundle bhaji or spinach blanched
  • 2 cups ripe plantain not overripe, diced small
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • ¼ cup olives
  • ¼ cup capers
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 4 sprigs fine leaf thyme
  • 1 chive finely chopped
  • 8 leaves chadon beni
  • 1 tbsp roucou
  • Salt to taste
  • Water
  • Dough
  • 2 cups Promasa cornmeal very fine
  • 3 cups lukewarm water
  • 8 tbsp. vegetable oil or coconut oil or olive oil
  • tsp salt
  • extra oil for wrapping
  • Wrapping
  • 2 -3 large fig banana leaves
  • String to tie

Instructions

  • Filling
  • First, prepare the banana leaves: Cut the fig (banana) leaves and strip them from the midrib.
  • Carefully place the leaf over a low fire on the stove. Move the leaf along the fire.
  • Be careful not to burn. The leaves will become pliable. Wipe clean and set aside.
  • Chop the bhaji or spinach. Then place in a clean plastic bag.
  • Place water in a deep pot.
  • Add the plantain and the bag of bhagi. Blanch the bhagi and allow the plantain to cook.
  • Then strain to release the excess water. Peel the plantain when it is cooked.
  • Slice and finely dice the cooked plantain.
  • Chop the seasoning and the other ingredients for the filling.
  • Place about 2 tbsp. of oil in a deep pot and saute the seasonings.
  • Cook well, then add the roucou or ketchup. Add the bhaji and saute for a few minutes.
  • Saute the bhaji until it is soft then add the plantain.
  • Stew the seasoned vegetables for 15 minutes.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients and salt to taste. The final mixture must be moist before you remove it from the heat.
  • Dough
  • Combine cornmeal, water, salt, and oil to make a soft pliable dough.
  • Divide the dough into small balls (about 12). Cover with damp cloth to prevent drying.
  • Dip the ball in the oil. Place on an oiled fig (banana) leaf.
  • On the other side of the press place another oiled leaf then press
  • Alternatively you can use your hands or a rolling pin to flatten the dough.
  • Spoon about 2 tablespoon of the filling to the centre of the flattened dough.
  • Fold the fig leaf (banana) and tie into a neat package.
  • Tie each parcel a string, which should be about 40 inches long.
  • Place the prepared pastelles in a colander to steam over hot water.
  • Steam for 15-20 minutes. Serve cool.

Notes

The plantain should not be overripe. It should be ripe but firm.