Tamales are a special treat reserved only for three holidays in Latin households – Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year’s Eve. Tamales are delicious and are also surprisingly cheap and easy to make as well. Every country and family has their own version of tamales. Because my husband is from El Salvador, my version is typical of tamales found in El Salvador. I like to fill my tamales with green beans, hard-boiled eggs, and chickpea beans, but you can fill them with almost anything you want, including carrots, chicken, pork, the possibilities are endless, and letting the kids fill them makes tamale making a fun event for the entire family. Give this recipe a try if you are looking for a new creative dinner recipe that everyone will love!
From the original site: So what are the characteristics of a Salvadoran tamale? Well first that depends on whether they are chicken tamales, tamales de gallina, or corn tamales, tamales de elote. Chicken tamales do not always have to have chicken inside of them, but if they do they will only have bits of meat, not any whole pieces with bone. Lots of Salvadorenas like to put chickpea beans, (also called garbanzo beans), pieces of hard boiled egg, sauteed green beans, and/or olives in their chicken tamales also and this really adds to their flavor. Salvadoran chicken tamales also have very moist masa, and this is achieved by using tortilla flour (“Harina de Maiz”), not tamale flour (“Masa Instantainea de Maiz para Hacer Tamales”), and by adding lots of water to saturate the flour. Salvadoran chicken tamales are also generally wrapped in banana leaves, and then covered with aluminum foil, and the banana leaves add to the moistness of a Salvadoran tamale as well. Salvadoran sweet corn tamales are wrapped in corn husks and covered in foil and these tamales have thicker dough more similar to corn cakes.