Tamales have been known to the mankind since 8000 BC. This ancient wrap was a creation of the Mayans and originally was food reserved for festivals. Tamale consists of a wide range of fillings wrapped inside corn-based dough called masa. However, it is the way of cooking it which makes them different from any other wraps popular now. The tamale is steamed inside a plantain leaf wrapper or corn husk which is discarded before savoring the wrap. The wrap preserves the flavors within and infuses an earthy tone to the entire dish. When it comes to stuffing the tamale, you can choose between savory or sweet alternatives. This primitive ancient dish has evolved into a popular comfort food in Mexico. The Mexicans love to relish their tamales with maize-based indigenous drinks like hot atole or champurrado. With growing popularity, these Mexican wraps also invaded the American palette in the mid 19th century and has been reigning the hearts many Americans since then. The following recipe presents to you a tamale stuffed with flavored ground meat. It can be eaten at any point of the day, be it lunch or dinner with a tangy salsa by its side. So savor the ancient flavors of Mexico with a tamale and indulge in its scrumptious taste!
- ¾ lb ground chicken
- 2 cups masa
- 16 banana leaves
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp chilli powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- Small can of mild green chilli peppers
- ¼ cup canola oil
- 1 ¼ cup water
- Salt to taste
- Soak the banana leaves in hot water for about an hour in order to make them flexible.
- Sauté the ground chicken with chilli pepper and salt over moderate heat.
- Blend the spices into the masa and pour in the water as well as the canola oil into the spiced masa.
- Knead the masa into dough and roll it out into a semi-thin sheet.
- Place the sheet over the banana leaves and place the meat mixture at its centre.
- Wrap the dough over the filling along with the wrapper and tie with a thread.
- Steam it for an hour.
- When done, peel off the wrapper and serve hot tamale on serving plates.