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Banana Leaf Tamales
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  • CourseMain Dish
  • CuisineVegetarian
Masa Ingredients
  • 2 cups Bob's Red Mill Masa Harina or Golden Corn Flour
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 4 vegetable bouillon cubes
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 pinch salt, to taste
Filling Ingredients
  • 1 25 oz. can kidney beans
  • 1 Tbsp. onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 vegetable bouillon cubes
  • 1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 lb. cheese, cut into 1/2" wide strips
Additional Items
  • 1 banana leaf, cut into 15 9"x9" pieces
  • tin foil, cut into 15 9"x9" pieces
  1. Prepare masa by roughly chopping onion, green bell pepper, and cilantro and adding to blender with vegetable bouillon cubes, water, and masa harina. Blend to mix. Add salt to taste.
  2. Add vegetable oil to pan and heat on medium-high. When warm, add masa from blender. Using a wooden spoon, continuously stir dough mixture over high heat until liquid boils off and mixture becomes solid, roughly 7–10 minutes. When masa is complete, remove from pan and add to a bowl.
  3. To make filling, blend chopped onion, green bell pepper, and beans, along with half the liquid from can, into blender and pulse to mix. Add bouillon cubes and pulse again.
  4. Add ¼ cup of vegetable oil to pan on medium heat and add bean filling mixture from blender along with 1 tsp. salt. Bring to a boil and cook until liquid is gone, about 15 minutes. Stir regularly, every few minutes, to keep from sticking and burning. When complete, remove filling and place in a second bowl.
  5. Remove stem from banana leaf. Cut leaf into approximately 15 9x9 inch pieces. Once cut, place each banana leaf part onto a piece of tin foil.
  6. Place ¼ cup of masa onto each banana leaf and flatten with wooden spoon, then add 2 Tbsp. of bean mixture and 1 strip of cheese to each.
  7. Fold each banana leaf and foil in half. Using your hands, pull mixture back towards you into the fold, then roll tamale shut. Fold ends of masa in, keeping the fold towards the top.
  8. Place any extra banana leaf pieces at the bottom of a pot and then place all tamales into pot, folded side down. Cover tamales with water. Cover pot and cook on medium heat for roughly 20 minutes.
  9. When done, remove tamales from pot, remove from foil, and plate. Serve with salsa and curtido.
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