Beans and cheese tamales

This is a nice vegetarian mexican recipe for a basic tamale, it is very easy to make, and always appreciated for its good taste; this is where our discoverey of tamales begins. Naturally, you can adjust your desired spiciness level by changing the type and quantity of chile you put in this tamal.

Recipe for beans and cheese Tamales:


* 1 cup lard or shortening, heated to room temperature
* 1 teaspoon baking powder (or better, yeast)
* 2 pounds of corn flour for tamales
* 1/2 cup liquid chicken broth
* 2 cups of black beans
* 2 serrano chilis for a hotter sauce; use milder varieties for a milder taste
* 1/2 of an onion, chopped to small bits
* enough corn husks; about half the usual pack
* 1 teaspoon of salt
* 1 lb. of panela cheese (or cheddar if unavailable)
* half-teaspoon yeast
* 1 cup of your favorite mole, see other recipes about this from this site


How we will prepare those beans and cheese tamales: The first thing is to cook the beans and to strain them to get rid any excess liquid, after this we cook them on the stove, over low heat setting. Reserve them for later.

Slice your chiles lenghtwise, discard the seeds. Chop the onion to small bits.

Next we prepare the dough with which we are going to prepare the tamales.
Add the lard or shortening at room temperature and the salt to the tamal masa (see recipe for tamal dough), to which previously we will have mixed with a little bit of yeast, or baking powder.
We incorporate little by little the broth while mixing the ingredients, until we obtain a soft and spongy texture.

Leave the corn husks in water for 15 minutes; then pull them out and strain them completely.

Spread two tablespoons of dough, or as much as is needed on the inside of every corn husk leaf, add a tablespoon of beans, some cheese, a slice of chili and onions.
Fold the corn husk so that it wraps the tamal, tie it up nicely; arrange in a steamer and cook with steam for about 30 minutes to one hour; one indication of your tamales being ready is seeing the corn
husk leaves starting to come off the cooked dough easily.

Once steaming is done, allow to rest 5 minutes before serving,  fix each plate nicely accompanied by mexican rice and some red or green salsas...

a hot pepper