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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Tamale, Tamale,

I love you, Tamale -
you're only a day away...

C'mon - do you think it is easy to come up with a witty headline every time I write? After all, I'm not Barbara Mikkelson of Snopes.com, who seems to have an endless inspiration for nifty one line zingers.

I've been meaning to post a step by step illustration of tamale making for some time now, but these things just tend to slip away so easily. This is actually a repeat post from good golly tamales, but laid out in picture book fashion for those of us who don't like reading. So, without further, ahem, a-dough, here we go...

You'll need approximately 2-3 corn husks for each tamale.

Soak the Corn Husks over night in water, then drain in a colander. Leave them moist so that they remain pliable to fold.

Using a clean flat surface - a counter top in your kitchen is perfect, but make sure it is at a comfortable height for you - lay out two or three good sized corn husks:

Layer them one half way over the other, making sure there is enough room to spread out approximately 1/4 cup of dough into a 4" x 7" (approximate) rectangle.

Place 1/4 cup of dough and spread it with a spatula, a fork, your fingers - whatever you have handy - until it makes a 4" x 7" rectangle with the dough.


Place 1/2 to 2 Tbs. of filling lengthwise in the center, leaving a border of dough around it.

Gently fold the sides of the corn husks up so that the dough covers the filling.

I found that it worked best to turn the sides up first to form the shape of the tamale, then wrap one side of the corn husk over first, then the other side:


Next fold the ends over and then lay the tamale down upon the folded sides.

You can leave them that way if you prefer - the weight of the tamale should be enough to hold it closed in place while you cook them - but the traditional way is to tie them like a package using string or thin strips of corn husk.

Repeat each step four to eighty four times as needed.

Don't worry if you have problems folding them into a rectangular package shape. The dough should mold to the form of the corn husk as you fold it into place. If they come out on the small side, that's OK also - you'll just have to serve extra.


Be sure to share some with a friend.

Bon App├ętit!

Things we like

of which there are very many, but Mukhwas Sada Bahar, which you will find at the entrance of any Indian restaurant, is among those at the top of our list. Intended to be an after dinner digestive and breath freshener they are, quite simply, sugar coated fennel seed and they are delicious. I recently had to make a run to my local ethnic supermarkets for ingredients to make spices with and I made sure we bought a bag of it, and its a bargain at $1.89 for seven ounces. We disregard the traditional protocol and eat them in small amounts. May our breathes always be fresh and our digestions always on tract...