Tamales are made by steaming masa, a corn-based dough, inside a corn husk until tender. Traditional tamales are made with vegetable shortening, but this recipe substitutes it for extra virgin olive oil. The result is a tender masa with a distinct flavor that pairs perfectly with rich tomato sauce and vegan cheese.
Olive Oil Tamales [Vegan]
For the Filling:
- 1/4 onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 1/2 pounds tomatoes
- 2 guajillo chilis, stemmed and seeded
- 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable stock powder
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin oil
For the Dough:
- 2 cups tamale-grind masa harina (corn flour)
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 1/4-1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 package dried corn husks
- Vegan cheese
- Soak the corn husks in hot water for 30-45 minutes.
To Make the Filling:
- Heat 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until they begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a blender.
- Add the tomatoes, chiles, tomatoes, and the vegetable broth to the blender and purée until smooth.
3. In the same saucepan, heat the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat.
4. Add the chile-tomato mixture and cook, stirring regularly, until it has darkened in color, 4 minutes. You can add a little bit of vegetable broth to thin the purée to a sauce-like consistency.
5. Lower the heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the color deepens slightly and the consistency is smooth, around 10-15 minutes, adding more broth as needed. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Reserve.
To Make the Dough:
In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the masa harina with the baking powder and salt.
Using the paddle attachment, gradually start adding the olive oil. When the dough starts to form, gradually add the vegetable broth.
The dough should be tender and fluffy, but it should keep its form.
Add more broth if the mixture seems too dry, 2 tablespoons at a time.
1.Thinly slice the vegan cheese
Wipe a soaked husk dry and put it smooth side up on a work surface.
2. Trim the bottom with scissors so the husk can lie mostly flat. Put about 1/3 cup masa harina in the center of the widest portion of the husk.
3. With your hands, spread it evenly over two-thirds of the husk, leaving a 2-inch border at the narrow top end of the husk.
4. Put 1-2 tablespoons of the tomato sauce in the center of the masa, about 1/2-inch from the wide end. Add 1-3 strips of vegan cheese.
5. Fold the corn husk in half, lengthwise, so the edges meet and the filling is completely covered.
6. Fold up narrow end up husk, leaving wide end of tamale open. Repeat with the remaining ingredients, until all the dough has been used.
7. Fill a deep pot, fitted with a steamer insert, with enough water to reach just below the insert.
8. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Arrange the tamales upright (open end up) in the insert, leaving room for the steam to circulate.
9. Fit the insert into the pot over the boiling water. Cover the pot with a lid, and steam for 60-90 minutes. Check the water level frequently and add more as needed to keep the pot from going dry.
10.To test for doneness, carefully, remove a tamale from the pot, and let it cool for a few minutes. Unwrap it, if ready, the dough should be set and will pull away from the corn husk easily.
11. Let the tamales rest for 5-10 minutes before serving, to allow the masa to firm up.
12. Serve the tamales in their wrappers with extra sauce on the side.
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Mostly Mexican and sometimes international easy vegan dinners and desserts. My name is Azu. I am a Biomedical Engineer who likes to cook and bake. I cook, prepare, test and taste international recipes, and if I really like them I share them on my blog Sweet Cannela. I live in Mexico City, which has an altitude of 2,240 m (7,350 ft) above sea level, so I like to experiment with recipes for baking at high altitudes. Lately, I have been interested in making healthier recipes, using good quality ingredients and reducing the consumption of animal products. And although I don’t call myself a strict vegan, I’m making an attempt one recipe at a time. I invite you to see some of my recipes at Sweet Cannela.