Stuffed Tamales with Sundried tomato


Stuffed Tamales

Stuffed Tamales

Recipe for 10 – 12 to serve 4 people

Allow 3 tamales per person. These were made as part of the Cuban menu.


  • 250g coarse corn flour (40p)

    Tamales ingredients

    Tamales ingredients

  • 10 sundried tomato pieces (99p)
  • 12 fresh coriander leaves to decorate (10p)
  • Dry oregano
  • Salt
  • 3 tablespoons Flavour oil (from sundried tomato jar)
  • 250ml boiling water
  • 2 table spoons self-rising flour
  • 1 fresh corn (37p)

Total spent: £1.86 or 46p per person. The only thing used on the fresh corn on this recipe are the leaves. The corn kernels will be used in another recipe.


Start by rinsing the coriander leaves and set aside. Carefully remove

Tamales ingredients

The corn and its outer leaves

one by one the outer leaves of the corn cob. Remove any extra “corn hair” rinse the leaves and flick out the water. The number of leaves on the corn cob can vary from 8-12…

Slice the pieces of sundried tomato in 2 – 3 to make them thinner. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, pour the corn flour, the self-rising flour, a pinch of salt and oregano. Mix all the dry elements together then, add the boiling water, the flavoured oil and knead the dough using a spatula until you obtain the consistency of a cookie dough.

packing the Tamales

packing the Tamales

Now lay flat all the corn leaves on a flat surface. On each leave, place 1 coriander leave, then top with the equivalent of 2 tablespoons full of corn dough. Flatten the dough on the corn leave and place on it 2-3 pieces of sundried tomato. Now bring together all the edges of the corn leave as if making a rolled cigarette. Fold the edge together and finish folding by over flapping both ends of the corn leaves.

You can either hold the parcel together with a tooth pick or simply put the parcel aside face down.

Repeat until all the parcels are done.

packing the Tamales

packing the Tamales

If you’ve got a steamer, use it to cook the tamales. If not, Place all the tamale parcels in an oven proof dish and place the dish in a big enough pan with a lid. Without a steamer, it is best to cook the tamales in a Bain Marie.

The idea here is that you will pour some water in the pan, making sure that none of it enters the heat proof dish containing the tamales. The water in the pan should be at about half the height of the dish within the pan. As water boils, it will produce enough heat to cook the tamales. For the size of the tamales made in the recipe, you should allow 20 minutes for them to be cooked through.

All packed

All packed

To check that the tamales are ready, they should be harder and if pricked with the tip of the knife, just like the test for a cake, the knife should come out dry. The secret is to keep the steam to the max in the pan. Make sure to top up the water as it dries out.

Tamales are great replacement for rice or potatoes. Feel free to deep fry the left-overs to give them a crispier outer layer…

They are to be eaten without the corn leaves obviously.

Ready to eat

Ready to eat

Note: Using corn leaves add to the taste of the Tamales. In the absence of corn leaves, use banana leaves (found in the local ethnic or Chinese supermarket) or simply kitchen foil.

See how I serve mine her with a Cuban Ropa Vieja.


Off to Cuba!

Hey ever heard of Santana?… If you’re between 35-45 you should have… Santana was all I knew about Cuba until 10 days ago…Hear Santana and his guitar here ignore the singers… Just the guitar (genius)!

Holla Ombre e Senora, buenos tardes !

If you were listening on 18th July, you would have heard Tom saying that he will be bringing a dessert for the show we are doing tomorrow…

He is bringing a Cuban dessert. Not sure what that going to be… I CANNOT stand uncooked desserts like cheese cakes and the likes and I really hope it is something that my face and my mouth would appreciate… Unfortunately for me, my face tends to speak for me even when I don’t want to say what I think.

So, Tom Cuban dessert prompted me to explore Cuban food which

Just in case you are wondering, here what the flag looks like!

Just in case you are wondering, here what the flag looks like!

turned out to be very educational read-up about the Cubans, their origins and colonial past… All that reflected in their food. I will do my best to interpret it as I understood it. I didn’t really want to copy a recipe and the WIKI page was very very helpful

So the menu I came out with reflects their African origins where the old slaves came from, the Spanish origins for their colonial past and then, the West Indies which they are often referred to as despite being South Americans. Cuban speak Spanish… Of course. Duhhh!

Since we are cooking on a budget, I sadly had to avoid fish stuff as my £10.00 would have been very quickly spent.

The menu is as follows:

Ripe, but firm plantain, still has traces of green

Ripe, but firm plantain, still has traces of green


Fried plantain & Ginger butter beans with avocado and Lime


Ropa Vieja (old clothes) with black olives and sweet peppers served with something cooked in fresh corn leaves.

I will just be using the corn leaves here... this is what fresh corn looks like. All dressed up.

I will just be using the corn leaves here… this is what fresh corn looks like. All dressed up.

Do tune in to hear what we’ve both cooked and do come back here to see the recipe next week.

Thank you for checking in! And remember a recipe is only a suggestion… you do not have to stick to it. JUST EXPLORE and have fun!


Here it is! Listen to the show’s podcast from here.

The Cuban Feast!

The Cuban Feast!

Green plantain and black beans stew

Green plantain stew

Green plantain & black beans stew

Menu for 6

Chicken 1kg – I used legs & thighs £ 2.25 – LIDL

The Marinade:

Marinated chicken

Marinated chicken

  • 50g diced onions – 10p
  • 2 stock cubes crushed – from cupboard
  • 1 teaspoon Chilli flakes – from cupboard
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin – from cupboard
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander – from cupboard
  • 4 tablespoon olive oil or any vegetable oil – from cupboard
  • 4 tablespoon water
  • Salt

Rinse the chicken, make some deep scoring on the chicken pieces. Pour the marinade over the chicken, mix well and leave in the fridge overnight.

The stew ingredients:

  • 1kg marinated chicken

    Dry black beans

    Dry black beans

  • 3 green plantains – £1.00 from the market
  • 2 big carrots – 10p
  • 200g black beans – soaked for 24hrs & Cooked for an hour if using dry bean like I did. 58p
  • 2 corncobs – shave off the kernels as on the picture – £1.38
  • 100g chopped tinned tomato 20p
  • 1 teaspoons chilli flakes – from cupboard
  • 1 teaspoon cumin – from cupboard
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander – from cupboard

    Ingredients for the stew

    Ingredients for the stew

  • 1 red onion – 10p
  • 3 big garlic cloves – 5p
  • Halves of 1 green, orange and yellow sweet peppers – 10p (20 pepper from the market cost £1.00)
  • 1L vegetable stock
  • Corn oil

Total spend: £5.81. Cost per person: £0.96p


Don’t forget to soak the bean the day before and boil them for an hour before using in the stew.

Also marinate the chicken for few hours before using it.

removing the plantain skin

removing the plantain skin

Remove the skin of the plantain and cut as in the picture, cut in 2cm thick and slanted. Do the same for the carrots. Set aside.

Remove the corn kernels from the cob.

Rinse the black beans now boiled. Rinse the corn kernel, set both aside.

Cut the red onion in big chunks or wedges, cut the sweet pepper in about the same size. Peel & crush the garlic, set aside.

Corn and palntain

Corn and plantain


Use a big pot with a lid. Heat 4 tablespoons of corn oil (or any vegetable oil) fry the chicken pieces to seal in the flavours and obtain a brown crispy skin. 2 to 3 minutes on each side should do. Once all the pieces have been fried. Set aside and cover.

plantain & carrots

plantain & carrots

In the same pan, add the onion and brown. Then, add the plantain, carrots, beans, corn and half of the stock. Also add the chilli, ground cumin, ground coriander, crushed garlic and salt. Stir and cover to simmer for 30 minutes. Don’t forget to keep an eye on it so the liquid won’t dry out.

After 30 minutes, add the sweet peppers, tomato, the fried chicken pieces the rest of the stock and adjust the seasoning. Stir.

Add another 200ml of water if necessary as the contents of the pan should almost (not completely) covered with liquid to keep everything moist. Cover the pan and leave it to simmer for another 30 minutes…

Sealed chicken

Sealed chicken

From the time the plantain is added the total cooking time should be 1hr and by adding the chicken half way, it means that the chicken won’t fall off the bones but will be very well cooked and ask soft as the plantain.

That is it! Enjoy!


Don’t forget to post a comment if you’ve tried it. Click to see the starter (Avocado Salsa & Paprika corn crackers) & desserts (Tropical fruits sorbet, Bunoelos, Mango & red grapes nectar) from this Mexican menu.


If you are using tinned potatoes, carrots and tin bean, cut the cooking time by half. As both the potato and beans are already very soft. Include the chicken at the same time as the other element and still cook it for the full 30 minute to allow it to absorb all the flavours.

Mexican-No Tacos!

Mexican-No Tacos!

Thank you for reading! See you next month.

Paprika corn cracker cups

DSC01526 small

To make 6 to 7 cracker cups…


  • 150g plain flour – From foodbank – or 68p from LIDLDSC01495 small
  • 50g coarse corn (optional) – 10p
  • 1 teaspoon oregano – from cupboard
  • 1 teaspoon paprika – from cupboard
  • Salt – from cupboard
  • 50ml corn oil – from cupboard
  • 6 tablespoons water

1kg of coarse corn costs £1.49 from Tesco

Preheat the over at 180C.

Method:DSC01498 small

Mix the oil and water together with the corn. Cover and leave aside for 10 minutes. The coarse corn is very hard and needs time to soften. Skip this step if not using coarse corn.

After 10 minutes, add the flour, salt, paprika, oregano and mix well by hand. The consistency we are looking for is a soft dough very near to being a crumble, but that can be shaped.

Once the dough is mixed. Cover with cling film and set aside for 10-20 minutes.DSC01500 small

To make the cups, use cupcakes moulds, spay the inside with oil and press in very tightly the dough. The thinner the sides, the better.

Once all the cups have been filled, place in the oven for 12-15 at 180C.

Remove the tray from the oven and leave the cups aside to cool down. To remove the cups from the mould, gently tap the whole tray on a hard surface to easy them from the bottom of the tray, then gently remove.DSC01501 small

If you do not have cupcakes moulds, just lay the dough on a sheet of baking foil, place another sheet on top of the dough and flatten with the rolling pin or wine bottle. Again, the thinner the better. Just remember how thin the shop bough cracker are and try to emulate.

Once the dough is flattened, remove the top baking foil and score the dough using cookie shapers or just the back of a knife.DSC01517 small

Place in the oven to bake for 10 minutes at 180C, leave to cool and use as you wish.

I used it for the starter of my Mexican menu.

Click here to see the starter, main and dessert 1 & 2 from this menu.DSC01521 small

Don’t forget to post a comment below!

See ya!


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Can you see the cup?