Dominican Tamales

dominican tamales Entree Caribbean
Dominican Tamales
  • Prep 60 min
  • Total 2 hr 0 min
  • Servings 8
Updated July 17, 2017


large green plantains
lb yautia (malanga)
lb kabocha squash
medium potato
tablespoon salt
tablespoons chopped cilantro
tablespoons chopped onions
garlic cloves
tablespoons tomato paste
tablespoons milk
tablespoons olive oil
teaspoons achiote powder
Plantain leaves (sold frozen in the grocery store or Latin market) or parchment paper
Cooking string
Olive oil for rubbing banana leaves
Meat filling of your choice (cooked spiced ground beef or picadillo)


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  • 1
    Peel all the vegetables (except the onions) and grate them with the smallest part of the grater. Make sure there are no chunks.
  • 2
    Add the grated vegetables with the salt, cilantro, onion, garlic, tomato paste and milk in the blender. Blend to obtain a purée.
  • 3
    In a small sauce pan warm olive oil with the achiote powder and let it all mix well. Keep a close eye as the achiote powder can burn easily if the oil is too hot. Add this oil to the blender and blend again to combine.
  • 4
    To assemble the pasteles, take pieces of plantain leaves of about 10’’ x 10’’, and rub each leaf with a little oil. Add about 3 tablespoons of the purée to the center of the leaf and top it with about 1 1/2 tablespoons of the filling.
  • 5
    Fold up the sides and ends and tie the packages with cooking string. Wrap once more with parchment paper or aluminum foil, if desired. Repeat this procedure until all ingredients have been used.
  • 6
    Boil in a large pot full of water for 45 minutes. Carefully unwrap and serve.

Expert Tips

  • You can freeze the pasteles to eat at a later date.

Nutrition Information

No nutrition information available for this recipe

More About This Recipe

  • Pasteles en hoja, also known as Dominican tamales, are the quintessential holiday dish served in countries like Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. A filled masa wrapped in leaf, this recipe combines all the flavors loved by Dominicans. Families gather together to make big batches of pasteles which are then stored in the freezer to keep enjoying them as much as possible during the month of December.

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