Foodie Gathering: Tasty Tamales

I had the pleasure of being taught how to make tamales by the wonderful Sylvia . Where my father’s from having maize meal is a staple and I had not even thought about its versatility the meal cold be. We did a vegan and meaty version. I had my favourite accessories designer join me in making this gem. It’s a light-heavy meal but super filling. This meal takes hours so it’s one of those meals you can use for a bonding session with friend’s or family.

Tamale Filling:

  •    0.5 kg of beans
5 kg of  pork
2 large onion, halved
  • clove garlic
  • 4 dried or fresh chillies, whichever you prefer
  • 2 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 a cup of vegetable fat


Tamale Dough: 

  • 2 cups maize meal if the maize meal is raw it needs to be pre-cooked to be soft
  • broth
1 can beef broth
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt


As I said the meal takes time mainly because the beans and pork take time. To reduce your cooking time you can use a pressure cooker.

  1. Add water, garlic and salt.

*The beans need to be soaked overnight before cooking.


You can place the pork/ beans in a pressure.

  1. Put either the fresh or dried chillies into a sauce pan, add water. Allow it to simmer and cool. There after blend the mixture. Strain it for later use.
  2. When the Pork is ready it should be shredded like pulled pork. The beans are left whole. Mix the pork/ meat in the chilli sauce.
  3. Soak the maize husks in warm water.
tamale 1

Cleansing the Tamale base

  1. If the maize has not been pre-cooked mix the maize meal, salt and baking powder into the broth. It should be soft or polenta like.
tamale base

Tamale Dough

  1. Spread the maize meal onto the maize husks ¼ then add the pork/ maize filling. Roll it into the centre.
tamale base 2

Tamale Spread

  1. Place the rolled tamales in a deep sauce pan that has an inch of water. Cover with a wet cloth and allow to steam for an hour.
steaming tamale

Bean Tamales

steaming tamale 2

Steaming the Tamales


Enjoy your tamales and you can use salsa to spice it up in the end.

Have a fabulous weekend.

R. Donna

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