Place the corn husks in a bowl of water to soften for about 10 minutes. Drain and rinse well. Pat dry and set aside.
Place 2 ½ cups of the corn kernels in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until puréed. Combine the puréed corn, masa harina, vegetable broth, baking powder, salt, and canola oil in a large bowl. Mix together with your hands until all of the ingredients are evenly distributed and the mixture has a dough-like consistency.
Prepare a frying pan with a light layer of canola oil or cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add the onion, black beans, and the remaining ½ cup of corn kernels to the pan. Season the corn-black bean mixture with the chili powder and salt and pepper, to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and lightly browned, about 5-7 minutes.
Preheat a steamer or set a large double boiler over medium-high heat.
Place about 3 tablespoons of the masa harina mixture in the center of a corn husk. Flatten the masa harina dough with your hand to form a ¼-inch-thick disk. Place about 1 tablespoon of corn-bean filling inside each disk. Fold the long side of the corn husk over the filling to cover and fold the ends together, overlapping. Tear a thin strip for one of the extra soaked corn husks. Tie the tamale together using the thin strip. Repeat 13 times, or until you are out of masa harina flour and black bean corn filling.
Layer the 14 black bean corn tamales over each other in the other in the steamer or double boiler. Cover with a damp kitchen towel and steam until the tamales are heated through, about 50-60 minutes. Divide into 7 servings and enjoy.
Tamales de Frijol (Oaxacan Black Bean Tamales)
David Malosh for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Simon Andrews. Prop Stylist: Paige Hicks.
On special occasions, such as saints’ days, Alfonso Martinez prepares a special style of black bean tamal traditionally made by Zapotec communities in the Sierra Norte of Oaxaca. A simple, puréed bean filling is carefully folded in a round of masa that’s been squished with a tortilla press or flattened out by hand, and this process creates a delicate, layered package that’s as beautiful as it is delicious. Mr. Martinez reaches for heirloom Oaxacan beans, though any variety of dried black beans that ends up tender will work well. And even though avocado leaves are traditionally used to sandwich the tamal inside the banana leaf wrapper, he says hoja or yerba santa leaves can also be cut to size to impart their herbal flavor. (Watch Mr. Martinez prepare Oaxacan tamales de frijol.) &mdashTejal Rao
Meatless Tamales with Black Bean Filling
Mexican food is very easy to make vegan. I know you are probably asking yourself “What about the cheese, Lauren?” Mexican food has so many spices and delicious flavors that if you up the spices just a little, you will all but forget the cheese quesadilla. I did use just a tiny bit of vegan cheese in this recipe just to add a little binding to the filling. Tofutti makes an excellent vegan sour cream if you just can’t live without it.
This was my first attempt at homemade vegan tamales and I was really happy with how they turned out. I was never a fan of frozen tamales because the masa was so bland and starchy. I added plenty of spice to the masa mixture to give it flavor and depth. Dried mushrooms worked perfectly to add a meaty texture. The reconstituted mushrooms are chewier but fresh sautéed mushrooms would work too. Tamales take a good long time to make but they are well worth the effort and they freeze really well.
Vegan tamales are a great way to get creative. I have been on a big sweet potato kick in my Mexican cooking lately. The sweetness of the potato offsets the spice perfectly for me. Here are some other vegan tamale filling ideas:
Sweet Potato Black Bean Tamales
- 2 cups masa harina (not cornmeal // masa harina has been cooked and soaked in lime water, then ground into flour)
- 1 ½ cups water
- 1 ½ tsp sea salt
- 1 ¾ tsp baking powder
- 2 ½ Tbsp avocado oil (or sub dairy-free butter or organic dairy butter as tolerated)
- 2/3 – 3/4 cup vegetable broth or water (warm temperature is best)
- 3-4 Tbsp water (or sub oil and reduce amount by half)
- 1/4 cup diced white or red onion
- 1 15-oz can black beans, slightly drained
- 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, chopped
- 1 ½ tsp adobo sauce (omit or reduce for less heat)
- 1/2 tsp sea salt, plus more to taste
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1-2 tsp coconut sugar (optional)
FOR SERVING optional
- Plain dairy-free yogurt or sour cream (we like plain Culina yogurt)
- Hot sauce
- Lime juice
1 ½ Tbsp of the mashed sweet potatoes to the center of the masa and top with
1 Tbsp of beans (see photo). Tuck the right side of the corn husk over the bean filling, right where the masa's left edge is. Then continue rolling until the seams meet. Then fold the narrow edge of corn husk over the seam and set in a loaf pan or dish that will keep your tamales upright. Continue until you have used all your masa mixture and filling (as original recipe is written,
Nutrition (1 of 24 servings)
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Black Bean and Corn Tamales
Created by merrittmakesvegan on January 8, 2016
These vegetable centric tamales are a great base to get creative with salsas and sides. And they're substantial enough that even carnivores will feel well-fed.
- Prep Time: 1h 30m
- Cook Time: 30m
- Total Time: 2h
- Yield: 30 small tamales
For the tamale dough:
- 4 cups masa harina corn flour
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/3 cup olive oil
For the bean filling:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large or 2 small yellow onions, diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced small (can use less or more depending on your preference)
- 3 cups cooked black beans (you can use canned, though homemade will be even better!)
- 2 cups frozen (or fresh!) sweet white corn
- 1/4 cup vegetable broth
- 4 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Soak the corn husks in a large pot of warm water for at least 20-30 minutes. Keep them soaking until ready to use.
- Make the tamale dough. In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, combine the masa harina, broth, salt, baking powder and oil. Mix on low speed until well combined and a very soft dough forms. Set aside, covered, while you make the filling.
- Make the filling: In a large, heavy bottomed saucepan or skillet over medium heat, add the oil. When it's hot, saute the onion for 3-5 minutes until transparent. Add the garlic and jalapeno and cook 1-2 minutes more until fragrant. Add in the black beans, corn, broth, tomato paste, cumin and salt. Simmer until most of the liquid is absorbed. Correct for seasoning (This really is a recipe you can adjust to your own taste. Feel free to alter the amounts or even add in other veggies like sweet potato or peppers) and remove from heat.
- OK, now the fun part. Grab your friends and family and get ready to wrap. I actually watched some YouTube videos on wrapping tamales, which I recommend doing if you're a tamale wrapping virgin. Meanwhile, here's what to do. Take 4-5 wrappers and tear them vertically along the grain into 1/4" wide strips. Place these in a small bowl of water. They will be the "ties" for your wrapped tamales.
- Now take a moistened wrapper and spread 2 tablespoons of dough onto the wrapper. I used a ziploc bag to flatten the dough down, though you can use your fingers too. You want to leave about a 1-1.5" margin from the top and bottom of the wrapper, and about 1/2" on one side.
- Spread 1-2 teaspoons of bean filling in a stripe along the middle of the flattened dough. Add 1 tsp of dough on top. Roll the tamale up from the side with the 1/2" margin. It's OK if a little bit of the wrapper ends up rolled into the dough, but not too too much, this isn't like a jelly roll, you want the tamale to come out at the end.
- Tie the tamale on each end with the soaked strips. Loosely fill into the basket of a large steamer.
- When ready to cook (you can make these in the morning and cook later, just keep covered for a couple hours or place in fridge if longer), put the steamer basket into a large pot with water at the bottom. The tamales at the bottom shouldn't be sitting in water, so the level should be below the base of the steamer.
- Cook over medium heat for 30-35 minutes, until the tamales feel firm to the touch. You can take one out at about 30 minutes and cut it open to test.
- Serve (wrapped! Let the people have their fun!) with salsas, guacamole and rice or Mexican rice. Merry Christmas!
And if you need to know how to wrap tamales, here is a handy video.
Easy Vegan Black Bean Tamales
Mexican dishes are some of my favorite to eat and prepare! There is a broad range of traditional recipes that make an excellent addition to the vegan diet.
Have you ever tried making tamales? I&rsquove enjoyed eating the Mexican and the Nicaraguan (nacatamale) version. While it may look like a complicated dish, it certainly does not have to be! I&rsquove combined some of my favorite methods to create one simple vegan tamale recipe. Try it out and let me know how you like them!
o 2 cups of pureed corn kernels (fresh or thawed)
o 1 cup of corn kernels (fresh or thawed)
o 8 ounces of dried/crushed chilies or chili powder
o 2 cups of vegetable broth
o 4 cups of drained black beans
1. Separate the dried cornhusks and throw away the silk. Soak the husks in warm water to soften for about 10 minutes. Rinse the husks and drain. Lightly pat the husks dry.
2. In a large bowl, combine the pureed corn, warm broth, masa, baking powder, salt, and olive oil. Stir the ingredients until they are distributed evenly. Now use your fingers to really work the mixture together. It be should a sponge-like dough consistency. Add it to the masa and mix until the dough has a spongy texture.
3. Add olive oil to a pan and set stove to medium high. Add the onion, garlic, black beans and the 1 cup of corn kernels to the pan. Season with the chili powder and salt/pepper according to your preference. Stir occasionally while cooking for about 10 minutes, or until the onions are translucent.
4. Heat a steamer or double boiler with about 2 inches of water, and set stove to medium high. Add about 2-3 tablespoons of the masa to the middle of the corn husk. Flatten the dough, and put about 2 tablespoons of the filling inside of it. Enclose the filling and pinch it closed. Fold the corn husk over the filling and overlap the ends. Pull apart a thin strip of an extra soaked corn husk, and tie the tamale with it. Repeat this step until you use up your masa and black bean mixture.
5. Layer the tamales in the steamer (don't let the water touch them), or a double boiler. Steam for about an hour or until heated all the way.
This is an excellent vegan dish for a party or the whole family. Enjoy!
Astray Recipes: Corn and black bean tamales
Separate husks from corn remove and discard silk from husks. Tear 4 small husks lengthswise into ½-inch-wide strips and tie together with knots to form 4 strips for tying tamales set aside. Reserve all remaining husks.
With knife, cut corn kernels off cobs. (Makes about 2 cups corn kernels.) In medium-size bowl, combine corn kernels, beans, chiles, and cumin set aside.
On waxed paper, combine masa, baking powder, and salt. In medium-size bowl, with electric mixer on medium speed, beat shortening until light and fluffy. Add masa mixture, ¼ cup at a time, and water as needed until dough resembles soft cornmeal mush. Divide and shape dough into 4 equal balls.
Line four 8-ounce souffle dishes or custard cups with some of the remaining corn husks, letting husks extend over rim by 3 inches. Firmly pat three-fourth of 1 ball of dough into bottom and around sides of 1 husk-lined dish. Place 1 strip of cheese in bottom of dish fill with corn mixture. Tear 1 cheese strip into pieces and sprinkle over corn mixture.
Spread remaining ¼ of dough ball over top, squeezing side and top around edge to enclose filling and seal. Fold corn husks over top to cover tamale and tie around dish with knotted strips of corn husk. Repeat with remaining 3 husk-lined dishes, dough, cheese and corn mixture to make 3 more tamales.
In 8-quart saucepot, place a wire rack or steaming basket and add 1½ inches of water. Line rack or steaming basket with remaining corn husks.
Arrange dishes on rack. Cover and heat water to boiling over high heat rduce heat to medium-low and steam tamales until dough pulls away easily from husk--55 to 60 minutes. Check water level and add more water, if necessary. If using an automatic steamer, follow manufacturer's directions.
Remove tamales from saucepot and cool slightly before handling. To serve, divide shredded lettuce among 4 serving plates. Cut off tied husk strips.
Carefully remove tamales from dishes and place on top of lettuce. Peel husks down from top and sides of tamales and spoon 1 tablespoon of salsa on top of each tamale.
NOTES : ****Instant corn masa is available by mail from the CMC Co., P.O.
- dried corn husks
- 6 dried ancho chile peppers, seeded
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 pinch ground cumin
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon water, or as needed
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 (17 ounce) can refried beans
- 1 cup lard
- 2 pounds fresh corn masa dough
- 1 (4 ounce) can canned jalapenos, sliced
Place corn husks in a bowl, cover with boiling water, and soak for a few hours. Drain, place on a work surface, and cover with a clean, damp towel.
Place ancho chiles in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Drain.
Combine ancho chiles, garlic, cumin, salt, pepper, and a little water in a blender blend salsa until smooth. Strain through a sieve.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1/2 the salsa and cook, 3 to 5 minutes. Add refried beans, stir well, and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
Beat lard with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add masa and beat until well combined. Add remaining salsa and continue beating until dough has a uniform red color.
Select 1 wide corn husk. Spread about 2 tablespoons masa mixture onto the the corn husk, filling it up to 2 inches from the bottom and 1/4 inch from the top. Place 1 tablespoon of beans and 1 jalapeno slice in the center of the masa mixture. Fold sides of husk together, one over the other. Fold the bottom of the husk over the seam of the 2 folded sides. Repeat with remaining husks.
Place a steamer insert into a saucepan and fill with water to just below the bottom of the steamer. Bring water to a boil. Add tamales with the open side up and cook until filling is heated through and separates from the husk, about 1 hour. Let tamales rest for 15 minutes before serving.
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Black Bean Corn Tamales - Recipes
Makes 4 cups enough for 30 to 35 tamales
Cooking your own beans from scratch adds flavor to this vegetarian filling, but if time is short, you instead could use one 15-ounce can of black beans. If you cook the Anaheim chiles directly over a gas flame it yields a great smoky flavor, but you can broil the chiles if you prefer. The filling can be made up to 2 days in advance and refrigerated in an airtight container until ready to use.
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup frozen corn, defrosted
1 1/2 cups homemade black beans, or one 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup prepared tomato salsa (medium spicy)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup crumbled queso fresco cheese
Place the chiles directly over a gas flame set on medium-high and cook, rotating the chiles with tongs occasionally, until charred all over, about 3 minutes per side. Alternatively, preheat broiler and adjust rack to 6 inches below broiling element. Place the chiles on a small baking sheet and broil until they are blistered on both sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, cover with a plate or plastic wrap and allow to steam for 30 minutes. Remove the skin, seeds and stem. Chop the flesh and set aside.
Heat the vegetable oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the corn and sauté until it begins to brown. Add the beans and cook and mash lightly with a spoon until you have a chunky mixture that is slightly sticky. Add the salsa, chiles and salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and let mixture cool to room temperature. Stir in the cheese.