For the Masa:
3 cups Masa Harina instant corn masa flour
1 cup Nutiva organic shortening
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 cups of water, or vegetable broth (may need more)
For the filling:
1 onion, diced
1 zucchini, diced
1 15 oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed (or use a couple different bean types if
making a larger batch)
1 15 oz can of corn, drained
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 lime, juiced
2-3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp mexican oregano
1/2 tsp smoked paprika (optional)
salt & pepper to taste
Vegan Cheese (the brand Follow Your Heart taste great and melts, and is available is most supermarkets) I used American vegan cheese for this recipe, and it actually taste really good.. I know that sounds weird, but vegans can't always be too picky!
This same filling can be used for enchiladas too, if you are looking for a low-fat option.
Dried Corn Husk
This will only make between 6-10 tamales, depending on how big you make them. Doubling the recipe makes it more worthwhile, and they freeze well.
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Cook the filling first so it will have time to cool.
Start by cooking the chopped onion for 3-5 minutes, or until translucent. Add the diced zucchini, garlic, cumin, mexican oregano, smoked paprika, a little salt & pepper, and cook it until soft. Using a smaller dice will make it easier to stuff the tamales later.
Turn off the heat, add the cilantro, lime juice, and the drained beans & corn. Stir this up without mashing it up, and taste for salt and pepper. Add more if needed.
Let this filling cool while the masa is being prepared.
Combine 3 cups of Masa flour with the 2 tsp of baking powder, and 1 tsp of salt. Either by hand, or a stand mixer, mix in 1 cup of Nutiva shortening until evenly distributed.
Add 2 cups of water, and mix well. You may need to add a little more water. We want the dough to be dry enough so it doesn't stick to our hands too much, and wet enough to not crumble or break apart. See the YouTube video (link below) for a visual.
The dried corn husk needs to soak in warm water for about 15 minutes to make them pliable. 1 or 2 corn husk per tamale is needed depending on the size of the husk and how big the tamales will be.
Shake off any excess water off the corn husk before filling.
Lay 1 or 2 corn husk out flat, and spread out some masa on the corn husk. Leave about 2 inches clear on the top and bottom, and about 1/2 inch clear on the sides to make it fold easy. The masa should be approximately 1/4 inch thick.
Place 1/2 slice of Follow Your Heart brand vegan american cheese (or any other flavor you like). Follow that with about 1/4 cup of filling, more or less depending on the size of the tamales.
Fold over the sides first, and then the bottom. Folding the top is optional. If you leave the tops open, then they will all need to be open-side on top when steaming.
I fold the top over, which can be a little harder to do with the wide husk. Securing the folds with a tie is optional. It does make a nice presentation using strips of corn husk to tie it together. It also helps it stack easier in the steamer without the folds coming undone.
These need to steam for about 1 hour. Small tamales might be done in 45 minutes. You will need to take one out, and break open the masa. If they are still doughy in the center of the masa, then steam for another 20 minutes. Don't forget to add more water to the steamer as needed.