Monday, January 3, 2011

Vegetarian Tamales (or meat if you must)

My husband and I tried our hands at homemade tamales on new years day.
They were a big hit!

Vegetarian Tamales
(adapted from WhyVeg)
((Printable Recipe))

4 cups masa
3 cups organic low sodium vegetable broth
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt (or less if you're not using a low sodium broth)

Now other recipes I saw used corn oil, and lots of it.  This recipe was delicious with a "healthy oil" and very little of it.  If you're not going vegetarian, you can use chicken broth or make your own from whatever meat you are using.

Mix all of the above together in a bowl with your hands until it is soft and squishy. (Soft and squishy is very technical- so get it right.)

I bought a large bag of fresh corn husks and used about half of then.  Soak the corn husks in a large bowl of water for about 10 minutes.

Choose whatever filling sounds good to you, veggie or shredded meat.

We used three:

black beans with garlic, roasted pablano chili and jalapeno
TVP with chili powder, garlic, cumin and oregano
sauteed spinach with garlic and sea salt

Sauteed spinach was our personal favorite.
The kids liked the TVP.
Next time I'm going to make a seasoned lentil/brown rice mixture for a filling.

Take two corn husks and place them, one inside the other with the large ends on the outside.

Place about 2 tablespoons of the masa mixture on the inside husk. Smooth out a little. (I used my hands.)

Place about 1 tablespoon of the mixture on top.

Take the husks and gently roll the filling by rolling up the inner husk. Flip over the inner husk so the seam is down and roll the outer husk. Tie either end with string or a piece of husk.

Place a steamer basket in a large pot with water. Do not fill the water above the steamer basket. Fill as many as you can (I did it in two batches).

Cover and steam for about half an hour.


... and eat while still warm.


  1. should this be served with dipping sauce, yes, that is a technical term?

  2. I've never seen sauce served with tamales when I've had them other places. But, I did have some left over salsa in the fridge that we did serve with them. It is probably not the "authentic" way to serve tamales..... but it was good.
    Here's the recipe: