Last Tuesday night I had the Fulbright girls over for the first cooking club meeting of 2014. Things were so hectic with winter break and the ETA and research mid-term reunions that we hadn’t been able to cook. It was so nice to get back in the kitchen and learn how to make something new and tasty.

One of my fellow research Fulbrighters just returned from some time in the state of Puebla doing field research. She learned how to make several traditional dishes, among them memelasMemelas are similar to gorditas and huaraches in that they are made from ground and cooked maize in dough form called masa (essentially tortilla dough). The main difference that I found is that refried beans are incorporated into the dough. Since the beans used in memelas from Puebla are black, they usually have a marbled look. We used the typical frijoles peruanos, so the difference between the masa and the beans isn’t that noticeable.


– 1 kg of masa

– 430 grams (1 bag of Isadora brand) of frijoles peruanos 

(Ahh! Metric system!)

– Water

– Salt

– Canola oil for the pan/comal

(This is what we used and it is by no means to be used as a reliable recipe)

1. Work the masa with a sprinkling of salt and a few tablespoons of water at a time until it is soft and workable.


2. Take a ball of masa in the palm of your hand and make an impression for the beans. Place roughly a tablespoon of beans into the impression and work the beans into the masa. Flatten out the ball until it makes an elongated oval shape. We found it easier to use a plastic bag for getting them the right shape.




2. Put a thin layer of oil on your comal or pan and cook the memelas until they are golden on one side, then flip.






You can top your memelas with any kind of salsa, queso fresco, and/or shredded meat. We chose a red salsa and queso fresco, and they were pretty tasty








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