I don’t know how long I was dreaming to prepare tamales.
I didn’t have any Mexican or other Latain American shops around where I could buy the corn husks. Finally I decided to use some fresh ones.
This recipe can be adapted to veggies you have on hand.
If you want you can of course also add to the filling some shredded cooked meat (best pork or chicken).
There are 3 different things you have to prepare: The corn husks, the masa de harina mix and the filling.
What you need
- 1 (8 ounce) package dried corn husks (otherwise about 12 ounces of fresh ones)
Masa de harina mix
- 2 Cups Masa de harina (corn flour)
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 3/4 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Cumin, ground
- 1/2 teaspoon Chili Powder
- 2 1/4 Cups Broth (the kind you like)
- 1/2 cup butter (alternative lard or margarine), softened
- 2 tablespoon olive oil (alternative butter or margarine)
- 1/2 cup onions, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 cup zucchini, chopped (or shredded meat for a non vegetarian version)
- 1/2 cup cilantro (fresh coriander), chopped
- 1/2 Lime, Juice
- 1/2 Cup Cheddar Cheese, Shredded
- 1 teaspoon cumin, to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon chili, to taste
- Salt, pepper,cumin and chili to taste
- Soak the corn husks in a bowl of warm water for at least 30 minutes. If you use fresh husks this step is not necessary if you use fresh ones.
- In a large bowl, combine the masa de harina, baking powder, salt, cumin and chili.
- Stir in the butter and the broth to form spongy dough. Set this dough aside until filling is ready.
- In a large skillet heat the olive to medium heat and fry onion until translucent.
- At this point and garlic and pepper. Stir for about 2 minutes.
- Add zucchini, stir and cover. Cook at low until softened.
- Remove from heat, add cilantro, lime juice and cheese.
- Stir and add salt and spices to taste.
- To assemble take your soaked corn hush and spread some masa dough in the center to 1/4 to 1/3 inch thickness, but let the borders free.
- Place one spoon of the filling in the center of the masa dough (see photo).
- Wrap it and seal folding the sides of the husks in toward the center. Tie it up with a string of corn husk (I had some pieces of corn leaves).
- Steam for 1 hour. During this time check from time to time that you have enough water for the steam.
- Serve with refried beans and salad.
Related link: From teosinte to maize (corn)