Mauritania- Tuna Pastels Recipe

Mauritanian Tuna Pastels

Although I have never been to Mauritania, I am lucky to know a friend from France who is married to a Mauritanian man. My friend Alice has told me that her husband likes to cook dishes from Mauritania and Senegal, which have similar cuisines. She recommended a number of recipes to try. This recipe for tuna pastels or pastels au thon is usually made as a starter. The ingredients are simple but there are a number of steps, so the recipe takes some time. I loved the flavour of the tomatoes mixed with coriander and cumin. The tuna is a very subtle background taste since the amount added is small.

The original recipe for tuna pastels comes from a blog called 1001 Saveurs. The recipe was in French so I translated it to English and also adjusted to some ingredients to the UK. For example, I used a typical tin of tuna and I used passata for the tomato sauce. These pastels were delicious fresh and also reheated in the air fryer the next day!

Tuna and tomato filling
Tuna and tomato filling
Tuna and tomato filling
Tuna and tomato filling

Ingredients

Pastry

500 g plain flour
1 Tbsp oil
2 tsp baking powder
3 eggs
1 tsp salt
90 ml milk
up to 45 ml water

Filling

1 tin (145g) tuna in spring water
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
250 g tomato pulp or passata
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1/2 tsp dried coriander
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp cumin

Dipping Sauce

1 small onion, chopped
1 Tbsp tomato paste
4 Tbsp tomato pulp or chopped tomatoes
1/2 tsp dried coriander
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp cumin
150 ml water

Cutting the dough into circles
Cutting the dough into circles
Crimping the edges of the pastels
Crimping the edges of the pastels

Instructions

Pastry

In a large bowl, mix all ingredients except the water for about 10 minutes. You can use an electric stand mixer with the bread kneading attachment or use bread hooks on a hand mixer. As a last resort, you can use your hands. Add the water slowly and stop when the dough holds together but is not too sticky. Cover the bowl and leave to rest at room temperature for one hour.

Filling

First, in a saucepan, saute the onions in oil over medium heat. Then add the tomatoes, tomato paste, tuna and spices. Heat the sauce for five minutes. Then set aside to cool.

Dipping Sauce

In a saucepan, heat the onions, tomato paste and tomatoes over medium heat. Then add the sprice and water and cook until the sauce has reduced and thickened. Set aside.

Assembling the Pastels

First, sprinkle flour on a cutting board and roll out the dough until about 4mm thick. Use a large (3-inch diameter) round cookie cutter or a floured glass to cut circle. Put a tablespoon of the filling in the center of the dough. Then fold in half to make a semi-circle and use a fork to seal the edges. Then heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Fry the pastels on both sides until light brown. When the pastels are cooked, put them onto a plate lined with paper towels. Serve warm with the side sauce.

Dipping sauce
Dipping sauce
Frying the tuna pastels
Frying the tuna pastels

Go to Mauritanian Recipes

Go to Recipe Map

Sharing is caring!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.