Salvadorean Tamales

"Labour of Love!"
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Ready In:
70 Tamales




  • Part 1 - Filling.
  • 1. Carefully decant all ingredients (minus the boiled potato & garbanzo beans) at once in boiling water, stir vigorously until mixed and cover it until brought back to a boil.
  • 2. Lower heat to simmer temperature. Simmer for 3 hours stirring every 15 minutes or less to avoid sticking to the bottom and burning.
  • 3. Let it rest overnight tightly covered.
  • 4. Next day, using simmer temperature, bring it to boil, and simmer for about 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes or less to avoid sticking to the bottom and burning.
  • 5. Add already boiled potatoe's and garbanzo beans.
  • 6. Let it rest tightly covered until it cools down from hot to warm.
  • Part 2 - Batter.
  • 1. Mix all ingredients in large bowl until batter acquires an even texture. When ready masa should feel about three times thicker than pancake batter. Add more water if necessary. Add salt as needed to fit your taste and diet.
  • Part 3 - Garnish.
  • 1. Place olives in a bowl and place at arm's length on tamal-preparation surface.
  • Part 4 - Wrappings.
  • 1. Place the wrappings also at arm's length on tamal-preparation surface.
  • Part 5 - Making the Tamale's.
  • 1. Lay out aluminum foil square on tamal-preparation surface.
  • 2. Lay out banana leave square on top of aluminum foil square.
  • 3. Pour a heaping cooking-spoon of batter on center of banana leaf slightly closer to you but not on the edge.
  • 4. Making a depression in center of batter, pour three full table spoons of Filling on center of Batter.
  • 5. Toss in 1 olives on top of the batter/filling.
  • 6. Wrap up tamal on four sides with banana leaf & foil avoiding any leakage as much as possible.
  • NOTE: The best way to fold them would be to fold end closest to you forward first, then folds the ends in and roll the tamal to the end of the wrapping.
  • Part 5 - Steaming Tamale's
  • 1. In a large stock pot bring 2L of water to a boil (add salt).
  • 2. Place a metal rack at the bottom of the Stock pot.
  • 3. Stack 1/2 or the tamales in the stock pot allowing room for steam to move in between them.
  • 4. Steam for a total of 4 hours, make sure to change positions of tamales every hour to ensure even cooking in all tamales.
  • 5. Continue the same proccess with the remaining tamales (or use 4 stock pots).
  • 6. Tamal's are now ready to be served directly from the stock pot.
  • Note: Tamales can be served at breakfast, lunch or supper. Accompany tamales with coffee at breakfast, or cold ale or lager at lunch or supper. Enjoy!
  • Part 6 - Freezing Tamales
  • 1. Let tamales cool down to room temperature.
  • 2. Pack in sealed plastic bags. Make sure that tamales have cooled before placing them in plastic bags.
  • 3. Freeze them.
  • Part 7 - Defrosting and Serving Tamales.
  • 1. Defrosting tamales may prove tricky. If heated wrong, tamales may get sandy, chewy, or crunchy. The best result is obtained if tamales are let thaw at room temperature.
  • 2. Once thawed, discard aluminum foil wrap and, still wrapped in banana leave wrap tamal in polyurethane foil ("Saran wrap"), then microwave tamal for 2 1/2 minutes at high temperature.

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