The chalupas are a traditional antojito (street food) from Puebla. It’s a staple meal to have during Mexican celebrations, such as Mexico’s Independence Day, or just as a weekend craving.
It's a small fried tortilla topped with a choice of salsa (sauce) and meat. The tortilla can be fried in oil or manteca (pork lard), the salsa can be green or red, and the meat can be chicken or beef. Chopped onion is added on top to finish it off.
Nowadays, they can be found in restaurants, fairs, or Mexican kermesse celebrations. They are usually served with four or five chalupas in a single plate, with a price no higher than a dollar (20 pesos).
Where do chalupas come from?
There are several stories that claim to answer this question. History recounts that it is a recipe created by the friars. They mixed chicken spares with some corn masa, to improve the flavor of this mixture, they then added the salsa and slices of onion.
Another story tells how the chalupas appeared first during pre-Hispanic times. Invented by the Mexica indigenous people, as food they could carry in the small boats and canoes that they used to navigate through the canals of Tenochtitlan.
Others assure that the traditional chalupas were born in the banks of the river San Francisco, which is located in the center of Puebla’s capital. Its name originates from the Basque word txalupa.
Regardless of where they come from, the chalupas are a beloved meal all over Mexico. Not only being a representative antojito for Puebla, but also in states such as Hidalgo, Mexico, Mexico City and Guanajuato. They have become an essential part of Mexican gastronomy.
Read more: The 5 essential antojitos from Puebla
For the chalupas
- ½ kg of corn masa
- ¼ kg of beef, pork or chicken maciza (firm meat with no bone), fully cooked and shredded
- 150 gr of manteca (pork lard) or oil
- 1 white onion, finely chopped
For the salsa verde (green sauce)
- 2 tablespoons of manteca (pork lard)
- 300 gr cups of green tomatoes, boiled with ¼ cup of water
- ½ white onion, chopped
- 20 sprigs of fresh cilantro (coriander)
- 3 to 4 serrano peppers
- 1 clove of garlic
- Warm water, as needed
- Salt to taste
For the salsa roja (red sauce)
- 400 gr of red tomatoes
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 4 morita peppers, roasted, deseeded and soaked in boiling water
- Salt to taste