How to make a Trinidad Pastelle

Published Date
Average: 5 (2 votes)
Prep Time
40 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
70 mins
Recipe Type

Trinidad Pastelle is a savory cornmeal pie filled with meat, fish or vegetables. For an alternative vegetarian version, you can use soya. Trini Pastelle is wrapped and steamed in a banana leaf. It is traditionally eaten during the Christmas season.

Trinidad Pastelle is known to have been introduced by the Spanish colonists who ruled Trinidad and Tobago between the late 15th and early 18th centuries. Trini Pastelle is closely related to Tamales but the main difference is Tamales are made with corn masa only. The sweet version of Trinidad Pastelles is called Trinidad Paime.

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  • 2 chopped onions
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 1⁄2 lb minced meat
  • 1 teaspoons black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons thyme
  • 1 tablespoon pimento sauce
  • 1⁄4 cup ketchup
  • 1 teaspoons Worcester sauce
  • 3 scallions
  • 3 tablespoons capers
  • 2 tablespoons chopped olives
  • 2 tablespoons raisins
  • 2 cups Promasa cornmeal
  • 1 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 3 cups lukewarm water
  • 2-3 cleaned and prepared banana leaves
  • Strings to tie
  1. Sauté onion and garlic.
  2. Add minced meat with scallions and season with salt & black pepper and thyme followed by pimento sauce as well as ketchup and Worcester sauce.
  3. When meat is tender remove from heat. Mix in capers as well as chopped olives and raisins and set aside.
  4. Mix cornmeal with salt and oil and add water.
  5. Knead into a soft and elastic dough and divide into 12 balls.
  6. Dip doughs into oil and flatten each dough ball on a separate piece of banana leaf. The dough should be about 1 inch thick.
  7. Add 2 tablespoons of filling to the center of flattened dough.
  8. Start with folding the longer sides to the center. Follow up with the short sides and secure with strings.
  9. Steam for 25-30 minutes.

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