So yummy! 2 Add chile sauce: Stir in 1/2 cup of chile sauce to the vegetables. It's the heat from the steam (which conducts to the batter through the wrapper) that actually cooks the tamale. Or, you can skip the tying step all together and just fold them well. (reserve some of the seeds), Optional if you want your tamales to be spicy, white onion roasted and cut into thick slices. • From 2 pounds of prepared masa (corn dough) you will make between 25 to 30 tamales. Note that you can cut off sinewy strips from the stem edge of the banana leaves to use as ties for the tamales. Beat lard and salt with an electric mixer or by hand until light and creamy. Martinez stacks the packets in a … Used for wrapping a variety of food mixtures, the leaves impart a subtle aromatic quality to foods. Use kitchen scissors to cut the banana leaves to the size you need. I found your site after running out of corn husks here in Quintana Roo (Mexico). You eat the lot with your fingers, and when you’re done, folding the leaf in half is the only way there is of stopping the server from heaping more food onto it. Add tomatillos and tomatoes; cook, … If not put back on the stove for 15 more minutes. Tamales themselves can be wrapped with other things, even avocado leaves, but more commonly dried corn husks. I think one way of folding the leaf (up vs. Sauté for a couple of minutes, stirring constantly. Use large leaves for baking or wrapping. I would like to give you my very humble advise… Pry open the chiles and remove the seed pods and stems. A “variation” is pastel de choclo, which is the same pure without the basil, but this time poured in a little pottery bowl over boiled chicken, raisins and boiled eggs; sprinkled with some sugar and put in the oven. Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Thank you for your wonderful blog, from Mexico City. (Its smoother.) Place ¼  of the batter into each leaf and spread it with wet fingers or with the back of a spoon top with one or two pieces of meat with the sauce. Please review the Comment Policy. Place the peppers into a bowl with 2 cups of warm water to soak for 30 minutes or until soft. Many of the hispanic restaurants around us are Salvadorean and they often serve these. Thanks for the wonderful recipe. The differences between banana leaf tamales and their better-known corn husk brethren are a.) I like for others to be aware that tamales are made more than one way and that central america has great food to offer!! All photos and content are copyright protected. Happy New Year!! Place enough filling for one serving in the center of the leaf, then fold like a handkerchief to make a square packet. Rinse the leaves. 4 Secure: Secure with a piece of kitchen string, or with some of the long stringy pieces that you can cut from the stem edge of the banana leaves. There we were able to buy the leaves fresh in the outdoor markets. Corn Masa or equivalent made with Masa Harina for Tortillas, Water or chicken broth enough to cream the dough. They were delicious!! I was trying to refresh my memory of that recipe when I landed on this recipe. If you heat them too long, they will toast and become brittle again. absolutely Fab. Thanks for posting this recipe. In Singapore, we have kueh (sort of cakes)that are cook with banana leaves. Oooh, tamales with banana leaves rock! Need the dough with your hands just enough so that all of the masa flour is incorporated. I also read that using shortening will help solve this problem. I used fresh banana leaves which were pretty difficult to work with at first. You can actually make your own masa from dried corn kernels, but it is a rather complicated process and you need a stone-grinding mill. Heat the skillet and bring the sauce to a simmer. Hi Fran – Hmm, those humitas sound wonderful. Fairly certain it’ll be tricky finding banana leaves in the Highlands! Use the old trick of dropping a coin into the bottom of the steamer when adding the water to the pot. Banana leaves have two sides. Cook for 2 hours (check notes above) after the water start boiling. In the more tropical areas of Mexico and Central America, you’ll commonly find tamales wrapped in banana leaves or plantain leaves, which have their own unique and subtle flavor. I just love serving these with extra vegetable filling on top. Tamales freeze well, so it makes sense to make more than you can eat at the time. But the next day (today) the masa was a bit harder than the night before. We made delicious tamales with rice instead of corn masa. Bring the water to a boil and remove the pot from the heat. I prepared them for guests who liked them so much they took a bag home with them. When you have added all of the tamales, add another layer of banana leaves. Masa harina is a special corn flour that has been treated with calcium hydroxide (lime) which releases nutrients in the corn, making it easier to digest. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. These tamales are called paches there and the dough is made with either rice or potatoes instead of masa. “Maseca” is a common brand of this corn flour which is available at any Mexican market. If it works I’ll share my results here… the first rice tamales on line perhaps? If upon your first attempt to wrap a tamale the banana leaf is too brittle and tears, you may need to soften the banana leaves by heating them first as mentioned earlier. Another way to soften them which I have found effective, is to hold them over heat, either over a gas burner or a hot pan for a few seconds. Taste. Thanks! Ok, my fiancee and I just made these last night. They were pretty good fresh. Do the same with the sesame seeds if using. Heat to high heat. I did it the night before last and they came out terrific. Add the garlic, salt, pepper, and ground cloves. Add this mixture to the meat and let marinated while you prepare the corn dough. CONTACT ME TO SEEK REPUBLISHING AND SYNDICATION RIGHTS. Use the old trick of dropping a coin into the bottom of the steamer when adding the water to the pot. If this happens then add more water carefully removing the lid facing against your face to avoid a steam burn. Banana leaves may be brittle and tear when you try to fold them. Banana leaf tamales recipe. This recipe is for a vegetarian filling, but you could also use a pulled pork or shredded chicken filling. Knead in a couple tablespoons of olive oil. Line a large steamer with a layer of banana-leaf scraps. We got all the ingredients, followed the steps, and steamed them. If using the Morita peppers, they will give the tamales a rich smoky flavor. Most tamales that we have the occasion to eat here in the US are wrapped in corn husks, the method typical of central and Northern Mexico. Here you have another recipe to celebrate Mexican Independence Day, Green and Red Thanks again for a great recipe that I will continue to make again and again. This really reminds me of my home food. The following process for making these wonderful banana leaf tamales was taught to me over several days by my good friend Arturo, who calls them “nacatamales”. Without your site I’m not sure I would have had the patience to keep trying to figure it out. Let sit for several minutes. Add ½ cup of the soaking water. Add more salt and/or chili seeds if needed. down?) Have you made this recipe? After removing the banana leaves from their plastic package cut the rough hard part of the edge using your kitchen scissors. A tamale is a bit of cooked masa- which is a gluten-free corn-based dough that is steamed in either corn husks or banana … Add the onions, garlic, and carrots. This sauce can be made in advance. Arrange in a steamer that has been previously filled with 2 inches of water. Add salt and continue beating … Add salt and taste. We had tamales in lieu of a traditional Christmas dinner this last season with the family. Tamale Pie with Chicken, Green Chiles, and Cheese, Read more about our affiliate linking policy, 1 pound package of banana leaves, frozen or fresh (available at most Asian or Mexican markets), 2 pounds of already prepared tamale masa, or 3 cups, 1 cup chopped carrots (about 1 1/2 carrots), 1/2 cup chopped red onion (about 1/2 onion), 3 large cloves garlic, peeled and chopped, 2 calabacitas (Mexican summer squash, can substitute zucchini), roughly chopped (1 1/2 cups), 2 plum tomatoes, cored and chopped (about 1 cup), 1 small bunch of spinach (about 15-20 leaves), rinsed, stems removed and discarded, chopped, 12 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, cut into 3" x 3/4" x 1/2" pieces. your recipe is wonderfu, in singapore we cook and serve alot using this method of wrapping in banana leaves. Not only because I like tamales, but also because my family came all the way from Mexico to visit me, and we prepared them together. I made these tamales using the addition of the shortening to the masa. Arturo is married to Martha, one of my oldest and dearest friends (since we were 13). I haven’t tried these yet, but I have to say the rice tamales are the best I’ve tasted in my 50 years of loving the Mexican cuisine of my native California and travels in Mexico. To all – I love the suggestions for the Asian dishes that use banana leaves, thank you! I tied the tamales with 1/4 inch strips of more banana leaves to make sure that it doesn’t open up, you may use bakers twine as well. Forming the tamales. Done in the El Salvadorian method the masa had a slight cinnamon flavor to it. Season the pork with salt, pepper,cumin and paprika to taste. These days he adds some olive oil, so you may try that! 3 Fold banana leaf to form tamale: Bring together the two long sides of the banana leaf and fold over, tucking one edge over the other if you can (if not, don't sweat it). The wrapping can either be discarded prior to eating or used as a plate. The end result should be a fine thick sauce. "Why can't you play Elise?!". Your tamales look really beautiful in the picture. (And easy.) 1 Press some masa into center of banana leaf rectangle: Lay out the rectangle piece of banana leaf, light side up. After removing the banana leaves from their plastic package cut the rough hard part of the edge using your kitchen scissors (This is the leaf’s center vein). Banana leaves impart a green-banana-like flavor and aroma to tamales, which works surprisingly well with corn masa and grilled chicken (or refried beans). The mini versions are called dumplings. Add more salt if needed. 2 Layer with tamales and banana leaves: Carefully place the tamales in layers on the bottom of the pan. I am quite pleased with myself. I’m wondering — have you (or do you know of anyone who has) ever tried steaming the tamales in a pressure cooker? Banana leaf tamales $ 5.00. Buen provecho!! I was excited to see this Tamale recipe as my parents are from Guatemala. Thanks for waiting. If you find a good place there, would you please let us know? It’s almost like a creme brulee! The instructions were pretty easy to follow, and we decided to skip the sauce, which I think was probably a bad idea but my fiancee isn’t much of spicy eater. The first thing we need to do is make the chicken. “Banana Leaf Rice” is something you should try if you’re ever in Malaysia — a huge mound of rice accompanied by a dozen or so South Indian curries. One at a time, form the tamales: Lay out a square of banana leaf, shiny-side up, and spread 1/3 cup of the batter into an 8x4-inch rectangle over it (as shown in the illustration). Hi Wendy – Almost any Asian market will carry banana leaves, usually frozen. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high. The dough will be light enough when a small amount floats when dropped in a glass of water. we will keep trying until we make them just as we want them!!! I am in grad school, and my husband and I have very little time to prepare meals ourselves. Remove one from the pot and if the leave peels off easily, they are done. I’ve always seen the flat square type of tamal with banana leaves but didn’t know exactly how to tie them. Ranging from lime to olive green to dark green, these inedible pliable leaves can measure up to ten feet long and two feet wide. These look delicious! Be careful not to touch your eyes if you've been handling chiles! Remove the seeds and … Beat 9 ounces lard in a large bowl with an electric mixer until creamy. My grandmother cuts the shortening in the maseca and after that she adds stock or water to the masa. Do the same with the sesame seeds if using. Flatten out the chiles and place them open-side down on the skillet. Heat them only enough to soften them and to release their flavor, do not heat them to the extent that they would brown or toast. We have made home cooked meals all week using the recipes on your blog. Either way they are out of this world. Add a tablespoon of olive oil. Cover with more banana leaves and a kitchen towel and pot lid. Press down on it with the palm of your hand to spread it out a bit. Thank you! Dissolve the ⅓ cup of masa with some water and add to the “Chilpan” sauce and stir. I did it the day before. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt. I have always loved the idea of cooking but have never been very good at it. Where I live, banana leaf seems to be very Central American. Gently press the peppers with a spatula, as soon as pepper’s skin start forming some blisters remove from the skillet, do not let them burn. The coin will start rattling after the water has evaporated. Highly recommend these banana leaf tamales. Beating is the ‘modern’ way to do it and you will not end having that uncomfortable feeling of grease on your palate. 4 Blend with garlic, spices: Place the chiles and 1 1/2 cups of the chile soaking water into a blender. catering. THEY MAY NOT BE REPUBLISHED IN PART OR WHOLE WITHOUT PERMISSION AND PROPER CREDIT. Cut twenty 12-inch pieces or string or thin strips of banana leaf. Add the Corn dough and broth little by little keep beating until dough is well mixed, smooth and homogenous. Polenta or corn meal perhaps? Here in Chile there is something similar to tamales, called Humitas. you can find them in the frozen foods section. Secure banana leaf "packets" with toothpicks inserted and woven through the leaf. Hi Juan, when I first was taught this recipe by my friend Arturo, he didn’t use any fat in the masa. Add enough water to almost come up to the level of the steam rack, about 3/4 or 1 inch. Read more about our affiliate linking policy. Tamales are a Latin American favorite, a delicious filling surrounded by corn meal dough, and steamed until cooked. I made these tamales today, and they are so good! Then add the tomatoes and squash. Let me know on Instagram, « Pork in Green Pipian Sauce, Guest Post from "Tlazolcalli" / Puerco en Salsa de Pipian Verde, Braised Short Ribs in Tomatillo Sauce | Receta de Costillas de Res en Salsa Verde ». Hope you come for visit ! Sounds wonderful. • The filling could be uncooked pork or chicken. They are used to steam or grill all sorts of things in (fish, glutinous rice) but also, traditionally, as plates among us South Indians (nowadays we use ceramic plates at home like everyone else, alas). You can also use a piece of aluminum foil or plastic to cover the tamales. 1 Open the chiles, remove seeds and stems: Use a sharp knife and make a cut down the side of each chile. Now if only we can find a good corn husk tamale in our parts … (Long time reader, first time commenter, really love what you do!). About Press Copyright Contact us Creators Advertise Developers Terms Privacy Policy & Safety How Cut the banana leaves into rectangles about 8"x10". Add salt and taste. Add this mixture to the meat and let marinate while you prepare the corn dough. Alternatively, place the chiles in a bowl and pour boiling water over them, let them sit for 15 minutes, until softened. One side, the top of the leaf, is deep green and has somewhat thick ridges. Just wondering if masa harina is known by any other names or if there is a substitute? Please try again later. They remind me a lot of a nyonya kuih back home in Malaysia that’s called pulut udang (glutinous rice with a prawn sambal filling wrapped in banana leaf and charcoal grilled). Elise, this looks utterly fabulous! Banana leaf tamales $ 5.00. MEXICO IN MY KITCHEN. the look, but also b.) The ratio should be 1 kilo of maseca and 1/2 kilo of shortening. Most tamales that we have the occasion to eat here in the US are wrapped in corn husks, the method typical of central and Northern Mexico. They are wet tamales, often with ingredients embedded into the masa. Pictured here is their 6-year old son Christopher, who was very patient with his dad and me while we cooked tamales at their house. Hello Elise, I am new to the blogging world, and I have to say your website is fab !!! Line the steamer with banana leaves scraps if you have leftovers. Pull up a chair! Your advise was great. Banana Leaf Tamales I’m really excited about this week recipe. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Sauté for a couple more minutes. Press down on them with a metal spatula. of meaty pork ribs cut into cubes of about 1 ¼ inch, pork leg cut into cubes of about 1 ¼ inch, seeded, deveined and cleaned (reserve some of the seeds), seeded, deveined, and cleaned. The only downside is that the tamale has less of the character marks that you would see with a corn husk or banana leaf. I have since made them several times for our family with great results. Use a knife to open the chile down the long side. It took me about 5 hours from start to finish (without steaming), but Im sure I took a few breaks! Hi Rachelle – There is no substitute for masa harina, other than buying the fully prepared masa itself. The way you prepare it is beating the shortening on high speed until it is light and fluffy, then kneading it into the masa already hydrated. Drain the peppers, reserving soaking water, and place them in a blender puree with garlic, onion, black pepper and seeds. Rinse with warm water and dry well with a kitchen towel. One week I stayed with a Guatemalan grandmother, Lidia. Wow … that sure looks delicious. We’re here to help you put dinner (and breakfast and lunch) on the table with less stress and more joy. Using a spatula, wilt the banana leaf on the hot griddle until the color … In the more tropical areas of Mexico and Central America, you’ll commonly find tamales wrapped in banana leaves or plantain leaves, which have their own unique and subtle fla… Purée until completely smooth, a couple of minutes. Lightly toast the Guajillo, Ancho and Morita Peppers in a skillet. Have these ingredients delivered or schedule pickup SAME DAY! Also the steps were very simple to complete, but time consuming. Remove from heat. Before you start to handle chilies, either wear protective gloves or rub a little olive oil over your hands. Hi Tori – It is really hard to source Mexican ingredients around Boston. A tamale or tamal is a traditional Mesoamerican dish, made of masa or dough (starchy, and usually corn-based), which is steamed in a corn husk or banana leaf. Place a strip of Monterey Jack cheese on top. After a few seconds turn the chiles over and cook them a few more seconds. They’re made of corn, basil, milk, butter and seasoning (and something else but I can’t remember), then everything is made puree; this paste is wraped in corn leaves and boiled. 1 Assemble steamer in pot with water, line with banana leaves: Place a steamer rack in the bottom of a very large stockpot.