Reviving one of the ancient flavours of the Mayan & Aztec civilizations - Tamale, made of corn flour dough with a delicious filling, and steamed in corn husk. According to the legends, this was the first dish served by the Mayan and Aztec civilizations to conquistadors.

Tamales can be also made with other meats, cheese, fruits, vegetables and even chillies. The Aztec and Maya civilizations used tamales as easily portable food, for hunting trips, and for travelling large distances, as well as supporting their armies. They can be made in advance and refrigerated for a few days. Uncooked tamales can be frozen and steamed whenever you crave for them.

 

Recipe Cards

Prep. Time: 35-40 min

Cooking Time: 40 min

Ingredients Quantity
Corn husks 16 pieces
Chicken thighs 400 gm (6 boneless)
Masa Harina 350 gm
Baking powder 1 tsp
Cumin, ground A pinch
Vegetable stock 350 ml + 125 ml
Sea salt A pinch
Grapeseed oil (or avocado) 1/3 cup
Taco spices 30 gm
Tomato 1 medium
Shallots 2
Cilantro Small bunch
Lime 1
Sour cream 200 gm
Salsa verde (or other) 200 gm

 

Tools and accessories:

Large bowl, stand mixer, mixing bowl, spatula, spoons, plates, measuring cups, grill/frying pan, steamer, knife and cutting boards

Method of Preparations

  • Prepare all the ingredients
  • Place corn husks in a large bowl. Soak in hot water for 30-40 minutes covered with a plate.
  • Prepare dough ingredients. Mix masa harina, sea salt, cumin and baking powder in a bowl
  • Mix oil and stock. Start stand mixer on medium speed, gradually add 350 ml of stock. Consistency should be like a soft paste. If not, gradually add up to 125 ml of extra stock
  • Cover with a wet/damp towel to prevent the dough from drying out
  • Sprinkle taco spices on a plate. Coat chicken thighs in taco spices
  • Preheat a grill or frying pan (medium-high heat). Cook chicken thighs 2.5 minutes per side or until fully cooked
  • Set chicken thighs aside to cool down
  • Deseed and dice the tomato. Dice the shallots. Finely chop cilantro. Squeeze juice of 1 lime in the bowl
  • Mix with a spoon, set aside
  • Chop the chicken thighs into small diced pieces
  • Slice 1-2 corn husks into 0.5-1cm wide strips
  • Start assembling the tamales. Lay corn a soaked corn husk glossy side up. Add 2 tbsp of masa dough in the wider half of the corn husk. Spread it evenly in the wider half, leave 1-2 cm gap from top and sides.

Tip: dip your fingers in a bowl with clean water, it will prevent dough from sticking

  • Add the filling (chicken)

Tip: you can replace chicken and make them vegan

  • Tightly close the corn husk from sides, connecting edges of both sides together (sides, top and bottom). Do not press too hard, just gently seal the dough
  • Wrap one side of the corn husk over the other. Then fold the empty bottom part up towards the edge of the wide (open) part
  • Tie the tamale around with the corn husk strips we cut earlier
  • Place all tamales in the steamer tray/bowl. If they are too long, place an empty heatproof bowl in the middle and lean tamales on it
  • Steam tamales for 35 minutes on medium heat. Do not heat them for too long or on very high heat, otherwise, they will be too wet and soggy
  • Take them out, stack on top of each other and let them cool down a minute or 2 before serving
  • Serve with a salsa of your choice and sour cream. Experiment with different fillings and salsas
  • Enjoy!

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Evgeny and Alisa Belousov

We both share a passion for cooking and especially enjoy cooking together. For us, it is more than just about food. It’s about sharing creative ideas, communicating and expressing ourselves through our culinary creations.

We believe that anyone can cook and this idea helped us start our culinary project – Delicious Artisanal Food. We hope to inspire other people, even those who never cooked before, to take the first step and begin this wonderful journey of cooking home-made delicious quality meals. The best food is the food made with love and by people we love.

At first, we learned from the internet and culinary books, we also took cooking classes whenever we travelled, discovering different food cultures and ingredients. But we thought that it was not enough and recently we joined ICCA Dubai to gain professional cooking skills and challenge ourselves.

To know more about delicious artisanal food project please visit: deliciousaf.net

 

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