Wednesday 25 June 2014

Globe-cooking recipe : Pupusas (Honduras)

Frozen pupusas on sale in the USA, that look tastier than mine ! - image courtesy of

When I saw that Honduras was playing in the World Cup today, I decided to investigate Honduran cooking and discovered a recipe for Pupusas. 

This had the added advantage of using up a bag of Masa Harina tortilla flour that I had lurking at the back of the cupboard. (It arrived in a Kitchen Nomad box for making my own tortillas but I always had a pack in the cupboard that needed using up so I always wimped out of making my own. Having seen how this recipe turned out, that could be a good thing !) 

Well, I don't know how Honduras did in the football (or are they still playing ?) but hopefully their result was better than my pupusas ! If I make them again, I knew where I went wrong so I'll give you extra hints and tips in the recipe write-up.


ingredients :

2 cups masa harina
1 & 1/2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon ground cumin
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
2 cups mild cheese (or the fillng of your choice)
1/2 cup fresh coriander, chopped

Mix the masa harina with the salt, pepper and cumin and add the water. Stir with a spoon then get your hands in and pull together to make a ball of dough. Following the recipe, I used 1 & 1/2 cups of water for 2 cups of masa harina. This seemed very dry but I trusted the recipe - bad move, having looked through various comments afterwards, most people use equal amounts of water and flour and someone else even adds lard to the mix. Also, be prepared to be quite heavy handed with the salt. I just added a pinch and it was very bland. Half to one teaspoon of salt would probably help make it taste better. 

For the filling, I used a mixture of grated cheddar, fresh chopped chives and a couple of tablespoons of Philadelphia cheese, to help hold it all together. I think this would be lovely with finely chopped pineapple too, to jazz it up a bit.

Now, there seem to be two main ways of making pupusas. The proper way, which is what I tried, is to flatten a ball of dough in your hand, put the filling in the middle then pull the sides up and over to seal it in. An easier, but cheating, way is to flatten out one disc, put on the filling, then add a second disc on top and press down around the edges. With hindsight, this would have worked better. You can also see here that my dough was definitely too dry.

If using the authentic method, you end up with balls that you need to flatten. When I did this, half of the filling splurged out - oops !

The recipe said these should be fried but I decided to see if they'd work under the grill in the oven. Well, the answer is not really ! They came out very dry and not very appetising-looking at all.

Unsurprisingly there are some left over so what I'll try tomorrow is reheating them in oil in the frying pan, which may give them a new lease of life. Before you write this recipe off as horrible, check out the delicious-looking version on the original pupusas recipe and make sure you don't make the same mistakes I did !

Luckily, I made another Foodie World Cup street food recipe alongside them which was much better so don't go away - here comes Baked Empanadas from Ecuador !

I'm joining in with the World Cup recipe challenge over on the Cooking Around The World blog

Other blogposts you may be interested in :

Globe-cooking recipe : Parmesan Chicken (USA)


  1. Well, sometimes thins like these happen. Honduras didn't have that much luck either. But still, it's good you may give the Pupusas another chance.

  2. Aww, you brave girl, trying new cuisines! I never even heard of pupusas. I bet I would have done the same mistakes, sometimes you need to follow your instinct rather than the recipe on the packet.

    1. Totally agree - I knew it looked too dry right from the start !!


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