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Chilahuates (Banana Leaf Wrapped Tamales)


Chilahuates (Banana Leaf Wrapped Tamales)

Ready in 30 minutes


2 c Vegetable broth; lukewarm
1 clove Garlic; finely chopped
1/2 c Almonds; blanched and finely chopped
1 ts Baking Powder
6 Jalapeno chiles; stemmed
1/2 c Vegetable shortening
1 ts Salt
1/4 c Fresh Cilantro; chopped
1/4 c Vegetable oil
3 Banana leaves
Salt; to taste
1/2 c Scallions; finely chopped
4 c Masa harina
1 c Black beans
1 Chayote squash; finely chopped


Put the beans in a medium pot, add water, and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 1-2 hours (depending on the size and age of the beans).

The beans are cooked when their skins break easily when stirred.

In a mixing bowl, beat the masa harina with the vegetable shortening, alternating with the broth until it is light, about 10 minutes.

Add the salt and baking powder. Beat 2 minutes more.

Clean and boil or char the banana leaves (if you cant find them already precooked).

Trim out the hard veins and cut the leaves into approximately 8-10″ squares.

Heat the oil in a skillet and saute the garlic and scallions until golden.

Add the chayote, chiles, almonds, cilantro, and beans.

Mix completely, stirring and cooking everything together.

Season with salt to taste.

On a banana leaf square spread out a little less than 1/2 cup of the masa harina like a pancake.

Top with approximately 2 tsp. of the vegetable/bean mixture.

Fold over the leaf like a package and repeat with the remaining leaves and filling.

Place the tamales in a steamer, overlapping them diagonally to allow steam to pass through, cover the pot and steam for at least 1 1/2 hours, checking the water level from time to time. (Peel away the leaf and only eat the filling.)

Serve with tomatillo or chipotle chile salsa.

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