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Veggie Tamales

Whether wrapped in banana or corn leaves, tamales are a staple of Mexican cuisine. In this recipe, our dear friend Karo from @bakdandraw varies the traditional Mexican recipe with meat and gives it a vegetarian/vegan twist with jackfruit meat, olive oil, and a delicious spicy beetroot salsa.


For the Masa (Tamale dough) you need:

850ml veggie broth

620g corn flour for tortillas und tamales

1 TL baking powder (ca. 5g)

Salt (ca. 5g) 

260g Olive oil

250g Spicy Salsa (see below)


For the Jackfruit filling:

1 large white onion

1 can of jackfruit (400g)

1 garlic clove


Spicy Salsa (inspired by a traditional Mole):

You can either use a pre-made salsa such as Mole or make your own:

1 large white onion

3 garlic cloves

50g super dark chocolate (70% or more)

2 corn tortillas

200g beet root (precooked)

1 can of tomatoes (400g)

2 Medjool dates (or 3 regular normal dates)

15g pumpkin seeds 

20g sesame seeds

20g almonds

2 x Ancho Chilis

1x Chipotle Chilis

Salt & pepper to taste


Corn husks for Tamales


1. Soak corn husks in hot water until pliable.

2. Prepare the sauce by roasting the onion, garlic, the two tortillas, the ancho chile and the chipotle in a griddle. Then soak the chiles in hot water to soften (about 5 minutes), open them and free them from the seeds. Now put them together with the rest of the ingredients for the sauce in the blender and grind everything well until a homogeneous mixture is obtained. Finally stir-fry the sauce in a little oil, season with salt and pepper and let it cook over low heat for half an hour.

3. Meanwhile, prepare the tamale dough by kneading all the ingredients by hand until a smooth and spreadable dough is obtained.

4. For the filling, sauté the jackfruit with the onion in a little oil. Add the sauce and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

5. Assemble the tamales by evenly spreading 2 tablespoons of masa along the top half of the corn husk. Place 1 tablespoon of filling in the center of the masa, overlap both sides of the husk over the filling and fold the bottom of the husk up. Tie the husk in the center with a strip of corn husk or kitchen twine.

6. Finally, place the tamales standing open end up in a steamer. Place a couple of corn husks on top of the tamales and cover the pot. Bring to a boil and steam over low heat for 45 minutes to an hour.

7. The tamales are ready when the corn husk comes off cleanly from the masa. Let them rest for 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Note: Watch on Instagram @bakdandraw or @mexalgmbh the preparation video created by our dear friend Karo from Bakd&raw.  

PS: Tamales are not a meal you can make in 30 minutes. However, they are a perfect dish to make on the weekend, put in the freezer and then pull out in batches when the craving for tamales strikes.

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