"In Oaxaca, tetelas are sold by sidewalk vendors, at food stands, and even in restaurants," Mely says of these triangleshape treats, which are made from corn masa and stuffed with a black bean mash.

Photo: Carson Downing
Total Time:
30 mins


  • 2 cup masa harina

  • 1 ¼ cup warm water

  • 1 recipe Refried Black Beans (see recipe) or 1 1/3 cups purchased refried black beans*

  • ¾ cup Mexican crema

  • ¾ cup crumbled queso fresco

  • Green and/or red salsa


  1. Mix masa harina with 1 1/4 cups warm water and knead well to form a smooth dough. If the dough feels a little too dry, add up to 2 Tbsp. additional warm water, a little at a time.

  2. Divide dough into 12 balls; cover with a damp kitchen towel to prevent dough from drying out while you work. Heat a comal (or griddle) over medium-high.

  3. Working one at a time, place a masa ball between two sheets of plastic wrap and gently press using a tortilla press or under a glass pie dish. (Tortilla should measure about 6 inches in diameter.)

  4. Peel top plastic wrap away from tortilla. Spread with about 1 Tbsp. Refried Black Beans. Visually divide the tortilla into thirds. Using bottom piece of plastic wrap, fold in one side of tortilla to cover about half of the beans; fold a second side in over beans, overlapping the first side and forming a point at the bottom. Fold down remaining side to make a triangle.

  5. Remove plastic wrap and place tetela on the griddle. Cook 1 minute; flip over and cook 2 to 3 minutes more. Flip to original side and cook 1 minute more. Move to a plate; cover to keep warm. Repeat with remaining masa and beans.

  6. Serve with crema, queso fresco, and salsa. Makes 12.

Refried Black Beans

Using a small blender or food processor, puree 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans (or one 15-oz. can, drained). In a skillet heat 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil or lard over medium. Add 1/4 cup chopped onion; cook and stir until softened. Add bean puree, stirring to prevent sticking.Mexican crema is similar to sour cream, but has a mild flavor and pourable texture. Look for it in Mexican markets and big grocery stores. If you can't find it, thin some sour cream with milk.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

176 Calories
8g Fat
23g Carbs
5g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 12
Calories 176
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 8g 10%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 15mg 5%
Sodium 107mg 5%
Total Carbohydrate 23g 8%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 1.3mg 7%
Calcium 75mg 6%
Iron 1mg 6%
Potassium 145mg 3%
Folate, total 43.8mcg
Vitamin B-12 0.1mcg
Vitamin B-6 0.1mg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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