The tamales tolimenses

These tamales are actually from the Tolima region in Colombia, although they are not typically mexican I still chose to include this recipe in this mexican recipe website, because this is one of my favorite kind of tamales, and it is a well known type of all dressed tamale, made throughout latin america.

tamal tolimense, from Colombia

Mexican recipe for Tamales tolimenses

Ingredients for 4-6 servings:

* 1/2 lb. bacon,
* 3 large onions
* sweet paprika, to the taste
* boiled and drained chick peas,
* banana leaves, slightly boiled,
* 1 lb. potatoes,
* 2 hard boiled eggs,
* freshly ground pepper, to the taste
* 1 lb. pork,
* 1 1/2 lb. cooked and chopped chicken meat
* 2 cloves of garlic,
* white rice, 150 grams
* 2 lb. corn masa,
* 2 carrots,
* salt, to your taste
* cumin, to your taste


Cut the bacon in small pieces and keep some bacon fat for later. Peel and chop the onions and the garlic cloves. Cook and cut the chicken meat if this isn't already done; cook the bacon along with the pork in 5 cups water with salt, for about 20 minutes. Reserve the meat and the broth resulting from cooking them separately. With some bacon fat, cook the onions and the garlics and when the onions become transparent, add paprika to your taste and pull away from heat.

Mix the rice and the peas in a large skillet. Mix with the corn masa and to allow to rest. Meanwhile, to peel, to wash and to sting the potatoes. Cut the eggs in pieces. Peel the carrots and to cut them in thin slices.

For each tamal, grease the banana leaves with oil and put a layer of the prepared masa. Place some bacon, some pork, chicken seasoned with salt, pepper and cumin, potatoes, carrots and egg pieces.

Cover with another layer of masa and form the tamales, then fold the banana leaves around. Traditionally these tamales are round shaped, but you can make them whatever shape that is more convenient to you...

Close the leaves by pressing tightly, closing each tamal hermetically so that water can't enter the tamales: these tamales are boiled, not steamed. Boil in the reserved broth, so that they are all covered with the broth, for 2 or 3 hours, bring the broth to a boil then reduce to medium-low setting. Add more water if it becomes necessary.

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