Tamales (A Very Healthy and delicious Version)

I did a thing last week. I stopped everything and spent a week at The Ranch in Malibu. We hiked over 55 miles, climbed a total of 8k feet, ate vegan, focused on health both for our bodies and souls and drank a ton of water, water, water.

We were all floored by how delicious the food was AND it was vegan, sugar free and we didn’t have alcohol or caffeine to muddle any flavors. This was one of the recipes from one of the dinners, a favorite!

Jackfruit Tamales

Makes 8 tamales, I recommend doubling and then freezing for later.

Masa

  • 2 cups masa harina
  • 1 1/2 cups veggie broth or water
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt (I added a little more)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 12-14 softened corn husks

In a large mixing bowl mix the masa harina with the warm water or vegetable broth. Allow the mixture to sit for about 20 minutes to soften. Add baking powder and oil then whisk or beat with an electric mixer on low speed until a dough forms.

Sprinkle the salt, garlic and onion powder, cumin, and smoked paprika over the dough and mix again until well combined. The masa should be about the consistency of peanut butter. If it’s too dry, mix in a little more water or broth; if your dough is too loose, add more masa harina.

Use your masa immediately or cover and store it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.

Filling

  • 2 cans jackfruit, diced into 1” pieces
  • 1 can whole tomatoes
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2 chipotles in adobo depending on spice preference
  • 1/2-1 cup water
  • 1 TBSP avocado oil
  • 1/2 TBSP cumin
  • 1 tsp corriander
  • 1 ear cooked corn (or canned) kernels cut from cob

First, soak your corn husks after washing them off a bit. Once the filling is done, they should be ready for assembly (approx 1 hr of soaking).

Drain and rinse the jackfruit. Chop up the jackfruit, keeping it in larger pieces. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook until very soft and fragrant. Add in the cumin, coriander and chipotles, stir one minute. Add in the tomatoes and
bring to a low boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

Carefully puree the mix in the blender until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

In a large pot, combine the chopped jackfruit with the blended sauce and 1/2 cup of water. Bring to a boil and
then simmer on low 45 minutes until jackfruit is soft and sauce is thickened. Add more as needed if the sauce becomes too thick. Season to taste. Cool completely.

Assemble

With the widest side at the top, furthest from you, spread 1-2 tablespoons of masa about 1/4” thick onto the soaked/ softened and semi dry corn husks. Keep the masa 1” from the top 3” from bottom and 2” from one side, the other side can have 3-4”.

Add approx 1-2 TBSP of filling in the middle (I added cooked fresh corn kernels too)

Gather the sides to meet the masa in the middle. There is will end excess husk that your holding. Fold it all around and to wrap it all in. Fold the narrow end up toward what was the widest end overlapping approx 2-4” depending on length of husks. A second husk can be
used if necessary. Rip 2 husks from the wide end to the narrow end to create 1/4” strips. Use these or twine to tie up your tamales.

Get a big pot with a grate on the bottom to steam the tamales. Don’t add water yet. Place the tamales with the open filling side up (tamales should be upright) on the grate. Move to your stove. Then add a bit of water so that the tamales are not touching it but it could steam.

Steam the tamales for 90 mins until slightly firm.

Once finished, remove from pot and let sit for at least 20 mins to firm up.

Enjoy with your favorite salsa.

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