Have you ever made homemade tamales? This is very fun, simple enough more work than most recipes here but  oh so delicious. This is an Old Guatemalan recipe that I have adapted from Vegetarian Times Magazine. Some Latin markets and Whole Foods carry frozen banana leaves (many organic).

Here’s whatcha need:

Flour (MASA)

3 1/2 cups organic masa harina (Bob’s Red Mill makes some)

2 tps. salt

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

10 tbs organic vegetable shortening (Spectrum naturals)

1 cup low-sodium organic vegetable broth


3 poblano chiles (organic if possible)

2 tbs olive oil

1 medium organic onion (chopped) about 1 1/2 cups

1/2 cup golden raisins

1/2 cup low sodium veggie broth

1/2 tsp dried organic Mexican oregano

1 cup pitted green olives, sliced

8 9 inch square banana leaf


1/2 cup GourGanics Spicy salsa

3 tbs sherry vinegar

1 tbs smoked paprika

1/2 cup roasted almonds

1/4 cup plain breadcrumbs

4 cloves garlic, peeled

1/2 cup olive oil

To make Masa: combine masa, salt and baking powder in a bowl. Add 2 1/4 cups ht water in a bowl and beat on medium speed until crumbly. Increase speed till medium-high. Add shortening and broth, 1 tbs. at a time. Beat 15 minutes, till light and fluffy. To test texture, drop a spoon of masa in the water, if it floats it is ready.

To make filling: Preheat oven to broil. Place chilis on baking sheet; broil 8 to 10 minutes until blackened on all sides, turning occasionally. Place in a bowl, cover with a lid and steam for 10 minutes. Pull of charred skin, rinse in water, take off stems and remove seeds. Dice into 1/2 inch pieces. Meanwhile, warm oil in skillet, brown onions, add raisins, Spicy GourGanics, chopped poblanos, simmer. Add olives. cool.

To assemble Tamales: Soften banana leaves over heat of gas or electric burner. Place each leaf, shiny side up on top of a 10 inch foil square. Spread 1/2 cup masa over center of banana leaf. Top with heaping 1 tbs filling. Fold over sides and then ends of banana leaf over filling. then wrap in foil square.

Stack Tamales in steamer basket and simmer for one hour or until masa is pulling away from leaf.

To make Sauce: Puree peppers, sherry vinegar, spicy GourGanics and paprika in blender until smooth. Add almonds, breadcrumbs, garlic puree until smooth. Add olive oil and run blender until sauce is smooth.

SERVE: remove and discard foil. Serve with sauce and salsa.

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