Nacatamal (Nicaraguan tamales)
This is the national tamale of Nicaragua.
For the filling:
- 450 g boneless pork, chicken pieces or turkey breast, cut into 8 pieces
- 70 ml Seville orange juice or 35 ml each of orange and lime juice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons achiote
- Garlic, to taste, crushed
For the masa:
- 450 g tamale flour or masa harina
- 280 ml milk
- 2 tablespoons lard or Trex
- 15 ml Seville orange juice or a mixture of orange and lime juice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 115 g mashed potato
- 1 Potato, raw, sliced thinly into 5 cm squares
- 2 Tomatoes, thinly sliced
- 2 Onions, thinly sliced
- 2 Sweet peppers, thinly sliced
- Mint leaves
- 8 teaspoons of raw rice
- Chillies, thinly sliced
- 8 sheets of tin-foil, cut into 38-40 cm squares
- Mix the filling ingredients and leave to marinate overnight.
- Mix the masa ingredients in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until the mixture is firm, but remains moist - about 30 minutes.
- Take one-eighth of the masa and place in the centre of one piece foil or a husk.
- Push 2 slices of potato into the masa near the bottom, then one piece of meat in the centre.
- Cover the masa with 2 slices each of the tomatoes, onions and peppers.
- Place 3 mint leaves and a teaspoon of rice on the top.
- Push chilli slices into the edges of the masa and pour a teaspoon of the marinade over the top.
- To wrap, fold both ends of the foil or husks to the centre, allowing an overlap of 1 cm.
- Fold one end tightly, stand the parcel on its end and shake down.
- Tighten the wrapping and fold over the sides and seal.
- The tamale should be about 13 cm by 9.5 cm.
- Repeat the process to make the remaining 7 tamales.
- Place the tamales in a large pan so that they are all in one layer.
- Add cold water to cover.
- Cover the pan and on a high heat, bring to the boil, reduce heat, and simmer for about 4 hours.
Serve as a snack, light lunch or even for breakfast.
Tamale flour, which is slightly more granular than masa harina can be obtained from Cool Chile Co. They also sell corn husks.
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