Tamales with Mole Sauce

Tamales are made from corn flour and whole foods plant-based "refried" beans, stuffed in a corn husk and steamed.  They are a real treat (and filling!) when served with mole sauce.
Tamales are made from corn flour and whole foods plant-based “refried” beans, stuffed in a corn husk and steamed. They are a real treat (and filling!) when served with mole sauce.

Up for a delicious challenge?  Tamales are incredibly yummy, and totally plant-based.  The corn flour and bean filling is complemented perfectly by a rich mole sauce with the character of roasted poblano pepper.  The reward is great for preparing this dish–which is no easy task.  The preparation begins the night before with hojas de tamal and dry pinto beans that need soaking.  The poblano pepper is freshly roasted for the spicy sauce.  The “refried” beans and corn flour filling are prepared in advance of the main cooking event: assembling the tamales.  That said, this labor-intensive meal is sure to hit the spot for family or special occasions.  Give it a try, and enjoy!

Ingredients for the Bean Filling:

1 Pound bag dry pinto beans, soaked and cooked according to package directions (or 300z canned, drained and rinsed)

30 oz Tomato sauce (or two 15oz cans, no salt)

1 Onion, chopped

5 Cloves garlic, chopped

1 Teaspoon Chili powder

2 Teaspoons cumin

Pinch of salt (optional)

Ingredients for the Mole Sauce:

1 Whole Poblano pepper

30 oz Tomato sauce (or two 15oz cans, no salt)

1/3 Cup 100% organic unsweetened cocoa powder

Ingredients for the Corn Flour Filling:

4 Cups Masa Harina (nixtamalized corn flour)

20 Hojas de Tamal (corn husks), soaked in water overnight

For the Bean Filling:

Put the onions and garlic in a large pot over medium high heat.  Add a little water to prevent sticking.  Cook for 4-5 minutes, until onions are translucent.  Add a tablespoon more water if needed as the onions and garlic cook.  Add the chili powder, cumin, and pinch of salt (if using).  Stir for a few seconds, until fragrant.

Add the cooked pinto beans and tomato sauce to the pot of garlic and onions.  Heat for a few minutes until beans are warm, then remove from heat.  Use a potato masher to mash the beans in the pot until a creamy “refried beans” texture is reached.  Add a little water if needed.

For the Mole Sauce:

Place the whole poblano pepper in a cast iron or other oven safe skillet and broil for 4 minutes.  Use tongs to turn the pepper over and broil for another 4 minutes, until soft and partly blackened.  Set aside to cool.

When the pepper is cool enough to handle, carefully de-stem and remove the seeds.  Put the pepper in a blender with

For the Corn Flour Filling:

Mix 4 cups of masa harina (Maseca is a popular brand in most grocery stores) with 2 cups water.

To Assemble the Tamales:

Lay out one corn husk on a plate.  Scoop a little corn flour filling onto the husk and press it to a thickness of one inch or less over most of the husk, leaving some husk exposed on the sides.  Spoon a little bean filling on top of the corn flour in the center of the husk.  Gently roll the tamale closed around the filling.  If the husk does not close completely, use a little less filling or use an additional corn husk to seal up the tamale.  Repeat for the remaining corn husks, placing them in a steam basket in a large pot with two inches of water.  When the pot is full of tamales (they may be stacked), cover and steam on medium high for 12-15 minutes.  Serve the tamales with the sauce.  Unwrap each and spoon the mole sauce onto the cooked tamales, and enjoy!

Traditional Central American fare recreated by Whole Food Vegan.  This healthy way of eating is also delicious, and has benefited every successful population in history!
Traditional Central American fare recreated by Whole Food Vegan. This healthy way of eating is also delicious, and has benefited every successful population in history!

 

 

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