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Black Bean Tamales, Gluten-free and Vegan

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Makes 50 small tamales, plus 1 qt. of chili (or double the dough for 2x tamales)

1- 6 oz. package of dried corn husks, soaked in hot water for 40 minutes


For the Dough:

5 cups masa harina

3 cups hot water

2 cup cold coconut oil

4 teaspoons baking powder

1 Tbsp. sea salt

2 cup vegetable broth

For the Chili Filling:

Olive oil

2 large onions, (or 4 small onions)

1 chopped yellow bell pepper

1 chopped red bell pepper

1 chopped jalapeño pepper

1 chopped Serrano pepper

3 Portobello mushroom

2 cups fire roasted corn (frozen pack)

1 can fire roasted tomatoe with chile

2 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 can organic pinto beans

2 can black beans

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

For the Sauce:

1 chopped Red onion

1 small green bell pepper

1 small yellow bell pepper

1 Tb garlic

1 chopped jalapeño

1 Tbsp. tomato paste

½ cup cilantro

¼ cup raw cacao

Salt to taste

1 16oz. jar Hot Organic Salsa

¼ cup dried Chipotle Chiles (reconstituted and pureed)

1 can Fire roasted tomatoes with chili

1 tsp. Cumin

1 tsp. Chili powder

For the Dough:

In a large bowl, stir the masa harina with the hot water until moistened; let cool. In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, using the paddle blade, mix the coconut oil with the baking powder and salt at medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. With the machine on, add the corn masa mix, in golf-ball-size lumps, then drizzle in the vegetable stock and beat the masa until completely smooth. Increase the speed to high and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes; the texture should resemble mashed potatoes. Cover the bowl with a damp towel and set aside until ready to use.

For the Chili Filling:

Using a large heavy skillet (I use my cast iron pan) sauté the onion in olive oil, until translucent. Add the peppers and garlic and continue cooking until soft. Add the Portobello mushrooms. Add all the spices and the corn, and cook for 10 minutes, until all of the flavors come together. Add the beans, fire roasted tomatoes and cilantro. Cook for 10 more minutes, allowing the flavors to meld. Adjust spices to your taste.

For the Sauce:

Sauté the onions in oil for a couple minutes. Then add peppers and garlic. Cook for a couple minutes. Add the Chipotle chiles, tomato paste, the raw cacao and spices for a few minutes so the flavors will meld. Add the salsa and the can of fire roasted tomatoe. Place all sauce ingredients into the blender, and blend on high until smooth.

To Assemble the Tamales:

Remove a corn husks from the water and pat dry. Working in batches of 4, lay the husks on a towel and spread about 2 tablespoons of the dough in an even layer across the wide end of the husk, creating a rectangle of dough. Leave about 1/2-inch border on the edges. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of the chili filling in a line down the center of the dough. Roll the husk so the dough surrounds the chili filling, then fold the bottom under. Use 2 corn husks and rip them into thin strands, creating pieces of corn twine, to use to tie up the tamales. Tie the tamales, around the center, using the thin strips of a corn husk. Repeat until all husks, dough and filling are used (or leave extra filling for Chili!).

To Cook the Tamales:

Using a deep stock pot, with a steamer in the bottom, fill the pot with water, just coming up to the bottom of the steamer. Make balls of tin foil to fill in the side gaps. Cover the steamer and the tin foil balls with a thin layer of corn husks. Stand the tamales upright on their folded ends, tightly packed together, securing them with more tin foil balls on the sides to prop them up. Cover, place over high heat and bring to a boil. Steam for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat, partially remove the lid, and simmer for 1 ½ hours. Serve the tamales warm with the sauce on the side.

About Bhavani Jaroff

Bhavani Jaroff is a Natural Foods Chef, Educator, Radio Host, and Food Activist. She has over thirty years experience cooking healthy, fresh organic food. Read More

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