Vegan Colombian tamales

Totally get that I'm the worst at actually using my blog. Sorry! I thought I'd make it up to you by sharing a recipe and not just any recipe... a Vegan COLOMBIAN  tamales recipe! What?! I know, its crazy! So full disclosure I'm not 100% vegan anymore as I added fish into my diet again (I still don't eat eggs and dairy though and don't see myself doing that ever again). But Colombian tamales if you don't know are usually FILLED with an insane amount of meat... my mom literally puts in three kinds of meats to her tamales. And in Colombian restaurants its super hard to find a vegetable tamale so thats we're my mom comes in being the best haha. For thanksgiving I asked my mom if we could make some tamales and it happened so you all get the recipe woohoo! Sorry some of the pictures are fuzzy, super hard to take pictures when working on tamales.


What you need to make tamales:

  • Twine
  • Paper
  • Banana leaves
  • Masarepa (in the Colombian aisle)
  • tomatoes (around 10 diced)
  • scallions (around 8 sliced)
  • red pepper (diced)
  • cilantro (diced) 
  • potatoes (sliced) 
  • carrots (cut up in chunks)
  • can of Chickpeas or peas
  • Veggies for filling (we used- sliced mushrooms, diced okra, sliced eggplant, and diced onions)
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • 3 sazon packets 

First thing you want to make is the guizo: In a big pot, you with a bit of olive oil throw in your diced up tomatoes. Cook this down for a bit and then add in your sliced scallions and diced pepper and a handful of cilantro. Sprinkle 3 sazon packets, a pinch of salt and mix. Let this cook under low heat. Cook for about ten to fifteen minutes or to your desired consistency. I like when it cooks a bit longer as its all nice and juicy. Then let cool on the side.

While the guizo is being cooked, you can prep your veggies that will be going inside the tamales. We usually soak some peas for the inside of the tamales but this time decided to use a can of rinsed chickpeas. Cut some carrots in chunks and slice potatoes. You don’t want the potatoes to be too big  because then it will take longer to cook.

Once that’s done you can work on the veggies that you will precook for the filling such as slicing up some  mushrooms, dice up the okra, and slicing the eggplant. Once you have the veggies ready, sauté them in a bit of olive oil, until cooked. Then let cool on the side.


Okay now time for the masa. The masa is something that can be tricky to get right. First you want to make a stock. We used 2 cans of vegetable stock and 2 cups of water, we let this heat up for a bit and also tied in some cimarron to give the stock some more flavor. Once the stock is done, turn off the pot and add some masarepa gradually. You can also add in half a cup of the guise the to the masa to give it extra flavor. You want the masa to be smooth but not that thin or thick. Look for the middle ground, this can be a bit difficult haha But you got this! 

Now that everything is ready, its time to rally some friends or family and make an assembly line. This makes life 100x easier! 


Here's the order you want to make the tamales in. Paper, banana leaf, spoonful of masa, spoonful of guizo (try not to take the water, makes the tamales watery), chickpeas, carrot, potato, spoonful of veggies, bit more guizo and half a spoonful of  masa. Fold over the banana leaf and then close the tamale by using the paper. Hold together by tying a twine. Once you're done assembling the tamales, get a big pot and steam the tamales. 

Screen Shot 2017-12-21 at 5.34.24 PM.png