You know I’ve been diving into the world of Mexican cuisine, and that’s created my love for tamales. Dora Stone’s Vegan Potato Adobo Tamales from Vegan Tamales Unwrapped is the perfect recipe to start with.
While it can be hard to find vegan tamales in traditional Mexican restaurants near me, they are easier to make than you’d think.
Dora’s new e-book, Vegan Tamales Unwrapped, gives you pages of step by step instructions and tons of photos for reference. She goes into ingredients and has a fat free version too!
There are 14 savory recipes and 5 dessert ones. You will find it hard to choose which one to start with.
She gives you other options to wrap your tamales in case you can’t get corn husks where you are, like Swiss chard or parchment paper.
Making tamales isn’t hard, but you do need to set aside some time to make them. It’s great if you can get together with a group of friends and crank out a few dozen. That way everyone gets to socialize and take some tamales home.
If you’re making them alone Dora has a plan for you to make them over 2 to 3 days.
Potato Adobo Tamales
This Vegan Potato Adobo Tamales from Dora Stone's Vegan Tamales Unwrapped is the perfect recipe to start with when you're just diving into Mexican cuisine!
- 1 1/2 lb. Potatoes, peeled, cut into small dice
- 1 cup Peas, fresh or frozen
- 3 Ancho chiles, dry, deseeded
- 1 1/2 Pasilla chiles, dry, deseeded
- 2 Garlic, cloves
- 1/4 Onion, white
- 1/2 tsp. Cumin, ground
- 1/2 tsp. Oregano, ground
- 1 Clove, whole
- 1/4 tsp. Cinnamon, ground
- 1/2 cup Vinegar, white
- 1/2 cup Chile soaking liquid
- 1 1/2 cups 8 oz. Vegetable Shortening
- 4 cups 1 lb. 2 oz. Masa harina
- 1 1/2 tsp. Baking powder
- 1 1/2 tbsp. Salt, kosher
- 4 cups Vegetable stock or broth, warm
- 30 Corn Husks
- Soak the corn husks in hot water, in a large pot or in your kitchen sink. Place a plate over them to weigh them down so they are completely submerged. Let them soak for at least an hour.
- To make the filling, place the diced potatoes in a medium pot with salted cold water. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 6 min. or until the potatoes are slightly tender. When the potatoes are cooked, remove from the heat and pour the cup of peas into the water with the potatoes and let sit for 30 sec. Drain and set aside.
- To make the adobo, bring a small pot of water to a boil. Remove the stems and seeds from the chiles and drop them into the water. Turn heat down to the lowest setting and let the chiles sit in the water for 10 min. Remove the chiles from the water and place in blender. Reserve ½ cup of the chile soaking liquid. Add the garlic, onion, oregano, cumin, cloves, cinnamon, white vinegar, and ½ cup of soaking liquid to the blender and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
- Pour the adobo on the cooked potatoes and peas, adjust seasoning, and mix well.
- To make the dough, beat the vegetable shortening, on medium-high speed, with an electric mixer, until it has doubled in size and is nice and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the baking powder, salt, and beat for 1 minute to incorporate into the shortening.
- Add half of the masa harina then add half of the vegetable stock. After it is completely incorporated, add the other half of masa harina and vegetable stock. Beat at low speed, until thoroughly mixed. It should have the consistency of a thick cake batter. If necessary, add more vegetable stock until you reach that consistency. Taste the dough, and add more salt if necessary. It should be a little bit salty.
- For lighter and fluffier tamales, let the dough rest for an hour in the refrigerator. Remove the dough from the fridge and rebeat it, adding enough liquid to get it to the consistency it had before.
- Remove the corn husks from the water and set on paper towels. Reserve the largest husks to wrap the tamales and the small ones to line the steamer.
- To set up your steamer, fill the bottom with water making sure the water is not touching the steamer rack. Line the rack and sides of the steamer pot with corn husks. Set aside.
- To wrap the tamales, pull 24 pencil thin strips off of the corn husks and set aside. Take a husk and dry off the excess water with a paper towel. Place the husk in your hand with the tapered side away from you and the smooth side up. Using a spoon, spread 2-3 tbsp. of the dough (¼ inch thick) onto the corn husk, forming a 3 - 4 inch square. Leave a border of at least ¾ inch on each side of the square.
- Place 1 ½ tbsp. of the filling in the center of the dough. Bring the two long sides of the corn husk together, this will cause the masa to surround the filling, and roll them in the same direction around the tamal. (If the husk is too small, fold one of the long sides towards the center, and then fold the other long side on top.) Fold down the empty tapered section of the corn husk, forming a closed bottom. This will leave the top of the tamal open. Tie with a corn husk strip to secure the bottom of the tamal.
- Place the tamal in the steamer vertically leaning against the side of the pot, with the open end on top. Repeat this process until you run out of dough and all the tamales are in the steamer. Cover them with a layer of corn husks. If the steamer is not full, fill the empty spaces with more corn husks. Cover the pot and bring the water to a boil. Turn heat down to medium and cook for 40 minutes. Check the tamales, when they separate easily from the corn husk it means they are done. If they are not done, steam for 10 more minutes and check again.
- Remove steamer from the heat and let sit covered for 10 minutes. Uncover and let cool for at least an hour. Don’t be alarmed if the tamales seem really soft. As they cool, they will firm up.
Nutrition InformationYield 15 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 419Total Fat 19gSaturated Fat 7gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 11gCholesterol 9mgSodium 956mgCarbohydrates 61gFiber 7gSugar 12gProtein 10g
Nutrition information is provided from nutritionix.com as a close estimate. If you have specific health issues please put the recipe information, including the exact ingredients you use, into the nutritional calculator your Dr. recommends.
Kathy’s Instant Pot Tip:
I have a few tamale recipes in my new Instant Pot cookbook, and you can steam them in your IP if you have one. For those of you who are on oil-free diets, I recommend trying pumpkin puree in place of the oil in tamales.
Place a deep steamer in your Instant Pot that has 1 cup water in it and carefully place the tamales in. Cook on high pressure for 20 minutes and let the pressure release naturally.
My mouth is watering, just looking at the picture and ingredients! I do have a couple questions & can hardly wait to get the answers!
I don’t have a Kindle, is there another format for people like me?
My husband is allergic to corn in all forms. Is there something else I can use instead of masa and husks? I know I’m asking a lot, but I know he’d LOVE to be able to eat them and I’d LOVE to be able to make it happen!
Thank you so much, Marcia
The book is also available on iTunes if you have a Mac or iPad. If you have a PC you can buy the kindle format and just download the kindle for PC app.
You can make tamales with rice flour. I would keep the same proportion of flour and fat, just substitute corn flour for rice flour. Add the liquid gradually in case you need more or less. The batter should have the consistency of a thick cake batter. Tamales can be wrapped in Swiss chard, banana leaves, foil or parchment paper. All would be good substitutes. I hope this helps.
Leticia Renee Perez says
My grandmother used mashed plantain or sweet potato, look up recipes for Pastaeles like this
In Guatemala they make some tamales with potatoes instead of corn and they are wrapped in banana leaves.
amy lynn says
Hi, I am a li’l sleep-deprived but I think I can help with at least one of your questions 🙂 I copied this from the top of the page, I know a lot of people who are allergic to corn, so I appreciated that they added this:
“She gives you other options to wrap your tamales in case you can’t get corn husks where you are, like Swiss chard or parchment paper”. So I guess in the book it will explain how to use one of those options.
And about not having a Kindle – do you have any kind of e-reader? Most of those and tablets (even smart phones I’m pretty sure, I’m poor so I have the cheapest Kindle Fire and a phone that just is a phone 🙂 Anyway, even if you have a home computer, there should be a place/app where you can read the book. I recommend going to Amazon dot com (I sort of live there, since I have the Kindle Fire, 🙂 I do love free books!) and they should have directions there for how to read Kindle books without a Kindle.
If you can’t find (and sorry I don’t have a link, I’ll go look in a bit and see what I can find) anything at Amazon, if you have Windows 10 there is a Kindle App, IIRC.
Hopefully one of those will work for you!! 🙂
amy lynn says
Ooh, found it! Actually from a link on this site, yay!
If you go to the page for Kathy’s book here
When you are there, you should see a pic of the cover of the (Yum, I want this book!!) book, and to the RIGHT of that it shows that it is available as a Kindle or Paperback book. Under where it says “Kindle”, click “read with our free App”, and that will show you all the places it works and how to do it. Hope that helps!!
So what’s the adobo part of the tamales?
Kathy Hester says
I believe it’s the spices. You could ask Dora on her blog, it’s her recipe.