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Join Daniel and Mirra from The Perennial Plate as they make Vegetarian Tamales inspired by their recent trip to Mexico.



  • 4 cups Masa Harina

  • 1 stick of butter (Cut into small chunks)

  • 1 Tablespoon salt

  • 2 teaspoons chilli powder

  • 4 cups vegetable stock

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • One packet of corn husks (or 30 corn husks)


  1. Take corn husks and pour hot water over them, weigh down with a heavy pan and let sit for an hour.

  2. In a mixer, cream the butter by spinning on medium until all the chunks are broken apart and the consistency is smooth.

  3. In a separate bowl, combine all the dry ingredients before adding the vegetable stock.

  4. Mix thoroughly until it becomes a dough.

  5. Add the dough to the creamed butter, and mix on medium for about 2 minutes until it gets a little fluffier.

  6. The mixture should have the consistency of thick cake batter (it should just barely stick to the spoon). If it's too thick, add a bit more vegetable stock.

  7. Time to assemble the tamales! Drain the water from the husks. Lay out each husk and put two heaping spoonfuls of the batter in the center of the husk, flattening the mixture a bit.

  8. Add about a tablespoon of filling - in this case, beans (see recipe below) and cheese, but you could use anything.

  9. Close the masa around the filling using one side of the husk. Then fold the bottom of the husk upward and finally the other side of the husk across (see video) and tie with a strip of husk (torn off to act as string).

  10. Steam the tamales for 45 minutes to an hour if they are small (like ours' - easer to make) or an hour and half if they are bigger.


Bean Filling


  • 1 cup dried black beans

  • 1 chile de arbol

  • 1 chile chipotle

  • 3 cloves garlic

  • 1 cinnamon stick

  • 1 teaspoon of salt to start (the rest to taste)

  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste


  1. Cover beans in water (by a lot - too much water here is not an issue) and bring to a boil.

  2. Turn off the heat. Let them sit for 20 minutes then pour off the excess liquid. Apparently a lot of the flatulence-causing-elements are in that liquid.

  3. Re-cover the beans with water and all other ingredients (just put them directly into the water).

  4. Bring to a boil and then simmer. I find it pretty difficult to gauge how long beans are going to take, so I start them as soon as possible and just let them go - continuing to test the constancy every 20 minutes after they have been simmering for an hour.

  5. Once they are done, I like to let them cool and then heat them back up again, the cooling seems to infuse the flavor and the salt.

  6. By the time the beans are done, the garlic and the chiles will be soft. Take out the cinnamon and the outer skin off the chiles and the stem, then mix all the ingredients together so the garlic and the chiles get mashed into the sauce.

  7. Let cool. If there is too much liquid by the time it's cooled, just strain off a bit, or hold aside to add back in if there are extra beans.

Bean Filling

Tomatillo Salsa


  • 10 small tomatillos, cut in half

  • 2 serrano chiles

  • 1 onion cut in quarters

  • 2 cloves of garlic

  • 1 cup cilantro (chopped)

  • Water

  • Salt


  1. Broil all the ingredients for 10 minutes or until charred (remove the garlic early if necessary to avoid burning it - charred garlic is not good).

  2. Let the ingredients cool and add them to a blender. Blend with the cilantro, add salt to taste.

  3. Add water to create a runny salsa-like consistency.

  4. Serve over your tamales or on just about anything!

Tomatillo Salsa




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Coming right up

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- [Voiceover] This is Mirra, she's the camera girl. - [Voiceover] This is Daniel, he's the chef. - We travel the world making videos about sustainable food. When we get home, we cook some of our favorite dishes inspired by these adventures. This is The Perennial Plate In The Kitchen. We recently got back from Mexico. Corn is the staple food in Mexico. It's been passed along for thousands of years and so it's not just food, it's culture and history. You have corn in every meal in Mexico. It's in your tortillas or in your tamales or in your elote, your street corn. You find it everywhere, so we're gonna make tamales. Tamales traditionally use lard. Mirra is not that into lard, so instead, we're gonna use butter, super untraditional. Butter tamales with beans. - And we tried this once before and it was fine. - Oh yeah, also, this is only the second time I've ever made tamales. Alright, first step, get some nice butter. Cut it into pieces, cream it in the mixer until it's all like blended together a little softer. The recipe calls for four cups of masa harina. Two. - I think that was already two. - Three, four. Two teaspoons of baking powder. A bunch of salt. Some chili powder, four cups of vegetable stock. Now we're gonna add it into our butter. You're looking for like a thick cake batter. Hey, Ella. You wanna try this? Alright, we have here husks. You buy these also at the Mexican grocery store. So these have been soaking for about an hour in hot and then warm water. So we're gonna pour out the liquid. Lay your husk out. Put in about a quarter cup of the masa, and then take your filling. We are gonna put beans and cheese. Put about a tablespoon and a half of the filling in the middle, then you're gonna fold the husk around so that the filling gets enclosed. Did you fold up the bottom first? And then you're gonna tie it up and we're gonna set it. - [Mirra] No, no, and then you fold the middle. Do you want me to just do it? - Do you wanna help me? - Sure. - Perfectly cute and tiny. - There's a bow. - We're gonna steam these from 45 minutes to an hour. Okay, guys, we're gonna make a roasted tomatillo salsa. The ingredients for this are tomatillos, serrano chilis, onion, and garlic. You're gonna put this on boil for five or ten minutes, or until it gets brown. Okay, so then take these out and let them cool. Okay, you guys. You ready? Once it's cooled, add a little bit of water. Add some cilantro, salt. And boil. Ready? - [Mirra] Yep. - One, two, three. There we have tomatillo salsa. You wanna taste it? - It's so good. I didn't think it'd be that good. - Really? - Yeah. - [Daniel] Why not?

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