Recipes » Main Dish » Veggie Tamales
T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies


Veggie Tamales

  • 5 cups masa harina
  • ½ cup of water
  • 5 cups broccoli, diced small
  • 1 ½ cups corn
  • 1 ½ cups peas
  • 2 cups carrots, grated
  • 4 Tbsp of veggie seasoning (see recipe)
  • Banana leaves

Veggie Seasoning

  • 1 Tbsp paprika
  • 1 Tbsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • ½ medium onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup celery, chopped
  • ½ cup of water
  • 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 ½ Tbsp of sea salt


  • 1. Place all the ingredients for the veggie seasoning in a blender and process until well incorporated. Set aside. Note that you will have extra seasoning left.
  • 2. In a large bowl, mix all the tamale ingredients until you achieve a homogeneous consistency.
  • 3. Place the banana leaves opaque side up on a flat surface, and place a thin layer of dough, approximately ½ cup, on it.
  • 4. Fold the bottom edge of the square banana leaf up and over. Fold the top edge of the leaf down, then fold in the sides to close the packet and form a square. Repeat to form the remaining tamales.
  • 5. Line a large steamer with a layer of banana-leaf scraps. Add the tamales and steam for about 60-70 minutes, replenishing the boiling water as needed. Remove from the heat and let the tamales stand in the covered steamer for 20 minutes.
  • 6. The tamales will be a bit soft, initially, but when you let them rest and cool, they will firm up.

Cooking Tips

  • 1. Cut the banana leaves into squares of approximately 25 x 25 cm.
  • 2. Tamale-ready banana leaves can be found frozen.
  • 3. If you use fresh banana leaves, heat a comal (or skillet) and heat each leaf for a few seconds on both sides until they soften.

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