vegan sweet potato pupusas with chipotle aioli

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last night i had a major craving for some masa cakes. while pupusas are usually made stuffed with cheese, i love making them with no filling. they are like little heavenly corn pillows. it’s also kind of like having pancakes for dinner. they tend to be the perfect background for spicy or sweet dishes. in this case, i decided to have a little of both. these would also be wonderful with black beans, but i made them with just sweet potato, cilantro and onion and they were delicious and filling.


  1. 2 sweet potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  2. 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  3. 1/2 sweet yellow onion, chopped
  4. 1/2 bunch of cilantro, corsely chopped
  5. 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus olive oil for frying pupusas
  6. for the pupusas: 2 cups masa harina
  7. 1 1/3 cups warm water
  8. pinch of salt
  9. for the aioli: 3 tablespoons vegan mayo (i used earth balance mindful mayo with olive oil)
  10. 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
  11. 1 teaspoon adobo sauce (more to taste)
  12. juice of 1/2 lime
  13. 1 garlic clove


  1. pre-heat oven to 400
  2. lay the sliced sweet potato on a baking sheet and drizzle 2 tablespoons olive oil over them
  3. sprinkle the cumin seed over the sweet potatoes
  4. roast the sweet potatoes until tender, about 15 minutes
  5. make the aioli: in a blender or food processor combine the mayo, pepper, adobo sauce, lime juice & garlic and blend until smooth
  6. in a saucepan or skillet heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and add in the chopped onion & cilantro, heat until just warmed, about 5 minutes (you can serve these uncooked if you prefer)
  7. make the pupusas: in a large bowl combine the masa harina, warm water & salt and stir together until you have a dough. it should be firm (like play-dough), not at all runny (like pancake batter)
  8. cover the bowl with a towel & let stand 10 minutes
  9. roll the dough into 1/3 cup balls and then flatten with your hands into tortilla or pancake shaped discs
  10. coat a large skillet or griddle with olive oil and heat on medium heat
  11.  add the pupusas and heat on each side until light golden brown with dark spotting, about 6 minutes each side
  12. top with a tablespoon of sweet potatoes, cilantro and onion, and drizzle chipotle aioli on top


the end.

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