Comida Latina, Dairy Free, Mains, Recipes

Tahini Potato and Kale Tamales + Your Favorites from 2017

January 2, 2018
These tahini Potato and Kale Tamales are a vegan tamale that doesn't skimp on flavor. Fluffy masa surround a filling of tahini-garlic potatoes and kale.

Happy New Year Friends!!

How were your holidays? More importantly, what was the BEST thing you ate? For me it was lovely chunks of smoked salmon from Santa Rosa Seafood  that we enjoyed before our Christmas dinner with an equally lovely glass of Stony Hill Chardonnay, rye bread, and cremé fraiche. I could’ve easily stopped there but you know I didn’t.

2018 is upon us and you know what? I’m entering my 40th year on this crazy spinning planet! Holy Moly! So I’d like to set the intention to dream big and while I’m working towards those dreams, live the moments as they come with compassion, gratitude, and pride for who I am, what I have, and how far I’ve already come. With that in mind I’d like to say, thank you. Whether you visit every week or you stop by every once in a while, I am so incredibly grateful that you are here.

Before we move forward into a new year of cooking and parties and fun, let’s take a look back at 2017 and which posts you loved best from the past year.

10. How To Throw An Italian Polenta Party

9. Masa Harina Pancakes with Vanilla Strawberries

8. Red Lentil Picnic Salad with Sweet Cider Dressing

7. Loaded Black Mole Braised Beef Fries

6. Beer-Braised Beef Barbacoa

5. Smoky Chile Relleno Rice Bowl with Chicken

4. Shrimp Ceviche Tostadas with Coconut and Lime

3. Hibiscus Mimosa Kits: The Perfect Hostess Gift for the Brunch Lover In Your Life

2. How to Make a DIY Chambord Sangria Bar

1. Cinnamon Roll Capirotada

I hope you get a chance to try some of these favorites from last year. I love that you love the variety, everything from party posts to the more traditional stuff and here’s one more before I say good-bye.

Tahini Potato and Kale Tamales

These tahini Potato and Kale Tamales are a vegan tamale that doesn't skimp on flavor. Fluffy masa surround a filling of tahini-garlic potatoes and kale.

These unique tamales were ones I created for a tamale feast I threw with my pals at Municipal Winemakers in Santa Barbara. The potato-tahini combination is one I learned from the imaginative Susana Villasuso and it seemed like a natural fit for a vegan tamale. I added a fresh touch of kale for something green and to break up the fluffy, glorious carb-load that is potatoes stuffed inside masa.

The recipe is straight-up tamales. They are a project people, but don’t let that stop you. For step-by-step with photos see this post over here. Serve the tamales with your favorite guacamole or salsa or pico. I like the Trader Joe’s salsa verde when I don’t feel like making my own.

These tahini Potato and Kale Tamales are a vegan tamale that doesn't skimp on flavor. Fluffy masa surround a filling of tahini-garlic potatoes and kale.

Tahini Potato and Kale Tamales
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
These tahini Potato and Kale Tamales are a vegan tamale that doesn't skimp on flavor. Fluffy masa surround a filling of tahini-garlic potatoes and kale.
Serves: 3 dozen
  • For the Potato Filling:
  • 2 ½ pounds small Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 3 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (10-ounce) bag chopped kale
  • For the Tamales:
  • 40 dried corn husks
  • 6 cups Maseca corn flour
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1½ cups lard or vegetable shortening, cut into small pieces
  • 8-9 cups warm chicken or vegetable broth
  1. Cover potatoes with cold, salted water in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook until just tender, about 8-10 minutes. Meanwhile combine tahini, garlic, smoked paprika, and salt in a large bowl.
  2. Drain potatoes and immediately transfer to bowl with tahini mixture. Gently toss potatoes until they are coated, this needs to be done while the potatoes are still hot otherwise the tahini will be too stiff to mix in. Zap for a few seconds in a microwave to melt if necessary.
  3. Bring a separate pot of salted water to a boil. Add kale and cook until wilted, about 3 minutes. Drain and plunge kale into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain and squeeze out any excess water.
To make the Tamales:
  1. Soak corn husks at least 2 hours in advance in hot water. Use a heavy plate to submerge husks in water.
  2. Combine Maseca, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Add cubed lard or shortening rubbing it into the dry ingredients with your fingers until it in very small pieces. Add 7 cups of warm broth and mix into a dough making sure all Maseca has been incorporated and there are no dry spots. It is best to mix together with your hands so you can feel any dry Maseca.
  3. Add more liquid if the masa is too dry, you want it to be easily spreadable but not runny, like fluffy mashed potatoes. Cover with plastic wrap until ready to use.
  1. Fill a tamale steamer with water just until it reaches the rack where the tamales will sit. Use a few of the small or ripped soaked corn husks to line the rack. Cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, turn heat to medium and keep covered.
  2. Dry a soaked corn husk with a clean kitchen towel. Hold the corn husk with the wide end toward you. Using a large spoon or tamale spreader, evenly spread about ½ cup masa from the middle of the husk down leaving about ½-inch border on the sides.
  3. Place about 2-3 tablespoons of potatoes and 1 tablespoon of kale down the middle.
  4. Fold one side of masa over the filling until the two edges of the corn husk meet, and holding onto one side of corn husk, pull the other side toward the middle to press the two edges of masa together. Fold the pointy end of the corn husk up over the large end, and place on a clean baking sheet. Repeat with remaining corn husks. You can use a piece of corn husk to prevent them from opening, but it is not necessary.
  5. Place tamales vertically, open-side up in the tamale steamer, keeping them snug in the pot so they don't unravel during cooking. Make sure water is at a steady simmer and producing lots of steam. Cover tightly and steam until masa is cooked through and not doughy in the middle, about 45 minutes. Check occasionally and add more water if the pot looks dry.
  6. Remove from heat and let sit, covered, 5 to 10 minutes before removing from the pot. Tamales can also be left in the pot, covered with a clean towel (and then covered with the steamer lid) for up to an hour before serving. They will stay warm and soft if you want to make them in advance.
  7. Serve with habanero salsa, pickled onions, and radishes.


A Winter Hibernation Party Menu

Salsa de Cacahuate {Creamy Peanut and Chile Salsa} with Chips

Tahini Potato and Kale Tamales

Braised Pork and Chile Stew

Prairie Garden Salad

Cookie Butter Muesli Cookies


One More Thing

Did you love this post? I want to know! Leave me a comment and snap a photo for Instagram. Tag @holajalapeno so I can see your beautiful creation! Your feedback is super important to me. If you run into trouble shoot me a message on Instagram and I’ll walk you through it.

Also, don’t forget to sign up for my weekly newsletter, lots of good stuff there too!


All tamale images are by David Mendoza III

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