2 c masa harina
1 1/2 c warm water
1 T ground cumin, made from lightly toasted cumin seed
Salt and pepper to taste
6 oz mild melting cheese such as Monterey jack, grated
1/2 c chopped cilantro

In a mixing bowl, mix together the masa harina, water, cumin, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and stir into a manageable dough. The dough should be soft but not sticky; add more flour if needed. If dough is dry and hard to form, add more water.

To make 3-inch round papusas, put about 1/2 cup of the dough in your hand for each papusa. Roll into a ball and flatten in your hand. Put 1/3 cup cheese, 1 teaspoon cilantro, and salt and pepper to taste in the center. Work the edges up over the filling and again form a ball, completely enclosing the filling. This takes only a few seconds.

Flatten each ball to about 1/4 inch or less and cook the papusas on a hot, lightly oiled griddle for about 3 minutes per side, or until both sides are lightly browned. Serve warm.

NOTE: In El Salvador, vendors everywhere sell a street food called papusas. They look like slightly thick tortillas, about three inches in diameter. Hidden inside is a filling — either of cheese, as in this recipe, or spicy meat. They are always served with a finely chopped vinegary coleslaw with fiery pepper and sometimes cilantro.

1992 CUNNINGHAM, Marion The Supper Book Alfred A. Knopf New York
MM Format by John Hartman Hartsville, SC 4 April 1997



1 Comment »

  1. addROC said

    This may be a stupid question, but here goes anyways. Masa Harina, what is it? I tried to find it with no luck, I found stuff with Harina in the name & and with mesa in the name, but no Masa Harina. I had some of these at the ballfields and would love to attempt them at home. Any idea where I could get masa harina, either in Manhattan or even better would be in Williamsburg Brooklyn area. Any and all help is greatly appreciated.

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