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Vegetarian Tamales

Thanks to the OSU Extension Latin Heritage Workgroup for this recipe.
Plate of corn husks with a doughy vegetable filling.
Prep time: 1 hour
Cook time: 45 minutes
Makes: 15 Tamales
Nutrition Facts: View label

Ingredients

15 corn husks 
1 large potato, cooked until just tender 
2 large carrots, cooked until just tender 
2 zucchini 
2 bell peppers (any color) 
3 cups corn flour (masa) 
1 teaspoon baking powder 
¾ cup vegetable oil 
2 teaspoons salt 
2 ½ to 3 cups water or low-sodium vegetable broth 
1 to 2 teaspoons garlic powder (optional; see Notes
2 cups green or red salsa (try Food Hero’s Quick Tomato Salsa)

Directions

  1. Wash hands with soap and warm water.
  2. Put a steamer basket or rack into a pot filled with enough water to just reach the bottom of the rack.
  3. Soften corn husks: soak husks in a large bowl of water for 20 minutes. After soaking, rinse husks under running water to remove any corn residue. Pat dry with a towel.
  4. While husks are soaking, cut the potato, carrots, zucchini and peppers into strips about ½ inch wide and 2 inches long.
  5. In a large bowl, mix the corn flour, baking powder, salt, oil, water and garlic powder, if desired. Knead with your hands for 5 minutes until well mixed. Using your hands, roll the dough into 15 balls.
  6. Spread open a corn husk and place a dough ball in the center. Using the back of a spoon or spatula, spread the dough in a thin layer to cover the wider ⅔ of the husk and leave the narrower top ⅓ of the husk empty. Leave a border open on each side.
  7. Place 2 strips of zucchini, 2 strips of pepper, 2 strips of carrot, and 1 strip of potato on the center of the dough. Add 2 Tablespoons of salsa on top of the vegetables.
  8. Fold one long side of the husk towards the center. Fold the other side towards the center to cover the first side. Fold the husk tip to make what looks like a small package. Leave the final edge straight, without folding.
  9. Place each tamale in the steamer basket, open side up, along one side of the pot. Lean tamales against each other to keep them from unfolding.
  10. Cover the pot and bring water to a boil. Turn down heat and steam tamales for 30 to 40 minutes, until the dough is cooked and separates from the husk after cooling for a minute.

Notes

  • Try any mix of vegetables you like. You can use a 12 to 16 ounce bag of frozen mixed vegetables.
  • No garlic powder? Try onion powder or any mix of other herbs and spices you like.
  • Find corn flour (masa) and corn husks in most supermarkets.

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