October is squash season and our good friends at 5 Star Makeover Cooking Group made it this month’s challenge.

TAMALES 102 003

I am adapting a recipe from Chef George Duran and decided on tamales as it would be really a challenge for me.  Years ago when I worked for the Mexican Tourist Office here in New York I was able to travel many times to beautiful and exiting Mexico.  I ate the food, drank their tequila and fell in love with it’s people .

Outside of Tacos al Pastor (on my bucket list to make) is the tamal.  I will incorporate in this month’s challenge the mighty pumpkin.  Usually tamales are savory, but these will be sweet.

TAMALES 102 010


about 40 dried corn husks

3-1/2 cups Maseca corn flour

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. ginger

1/2 tsp. ground cloves

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

1 29-ounce can of pumpkin purée

2 sticks of butter, melted

1+ cup of warm water

1 cup of walnuts, chopped (I used toasted hazel nuts)

1 cup of raisins

Queso Fresco, shredded for garnish.


Fill a large bowl with hot water and soak corn husks until softened for about 30 minutes.

In an extra-large bowl add Maseca corn flour and the rest of the dry ingredients. Mix together making sure that all of the clumps are broken up with your fingers. Then add all the wet ingredients and once again, use your hands to mix the corn flour. Add more water as needed until you achieve the consistency of peanut butter.  Fold in the nuts and raisins.

TAMALES 101 030

TAMALES 101 031

Assemble the tamales by using a rubber spatula to spread ½ cup to 1 cup of dough mixture onto the corn husk, depending on the size of the corn husk.  The spread should cover about two-thirds of the husk, away from the pointed end, making sure you leave some space on each side to fold. Gently fold one side of the corn husk to the other end and fold up the pointed end across. Lay each tamal fold-side down. There should be an open end to each tamal.

TAMALES 101 032

TAMALES 101 034

I do not own a Tamalera pot so I used an inverted strainer that fits on bottom of large pot and add about 2-3 inches of water.  Stack the tamales straight up and steam with the lid on for about 90 minutes.

TAMALES 101 036

Remove each tamal with tongs and let rest for a few minutes before serving it as a sweet side-dish or grated with queso fresco.

TAMALES 102 012

                                                                                                          hosted by 5 Star Foodie & Lazaro Cooks!

TAMALES 102 008

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Sonia Mendez Garcia says:

    This post really gets me in the tamale and holiday spirit!!! Nice job Norma!!!

  2. Joan Nova says:

    hahaha … I love the tamale song, so fun! Nice job on the challenge and the post. I love the idea of pumpkin tamales and could see it as a side dish on a Thanksgiving table. Muy bien hecho, amiga!

  3. What a wonderful idea. I would have never thought of it, but I can see the flavors all coming together. Bravo to you.

  4. Lori Lynn says:

    Hi Norma ~ super idea for the challenge. They sound muy delicioso! And that lead shot is just beautiful with the husks/ light/ and pumpkin…Brava!
    P.S. Love the finish with queso fresco too!

  5. I’ve always wanted to make tamales so I guess this is a good time to start. I think these sound so yummy and your photo is beautiful. Love how you used the pumpkin for this makeover. Great job!

  6. OMG, Norma. OMG. I’ve had many a tamal in my life in Mexico, but have never had pumpkin! These look divine. I am positively drooling.

  7. These look so cool, I would love to taste them. I like the rainbow sugar you used. Tamales are a favorite in our house.

  8. Me encantan los tamales!!! Nunca los habia visto de calabaza!! Woowww! Tremenda idea!!!

  9. Wow, these tamales look out of this world delicious! I really love the idea of using pumpkins in them. Marvelous!

  10. Lovely Norma! Thanks for the step by step instructions! 🙂

  11. Nydia says:

    Me encantó Norma…!!! Qué buena propuesta el ponerle calabaza, estupendo, y te quedaron de maravilla.

  12. Such a beautiful pumpkin dish! Your tamales sound so flavorful, Norma.

  13. I love the idea of sweet tamales – very unique! Such wonderful flavors with all the spices that you used.

  14. What a great job, I never dared to try tamales. And I have never seen a sweet version. I just love it and want to try one.

  15. Catherine says:

    This looks like a delicious dish. I would love to try it. Blessings dear. Catherine xo

  16. That’s a five star makeover if I’ve seen one – awesome 😀

    Choc Chip Uru

  17. Shannon says:

    very cool! i’ve only had one real tamal, but it does make me want more… loving the sweet version you’ve created here 🙂

  18. This looks marvelous! Festive + Fun + Delicious! and what a great package =)

  19. Anda pal cará… these look AMAZING! Love this creative spin on tamales – they also remind me of Ecuadorean humitas, which are usually enjoyed with the afternoon coffee. Saludos y besos!

  20. Joanne says:

    Yay for pumpkin! These sound addictively delicious!

  21. Paz says:

    Wow!Would love to taste this. I love the tamale song. LOL!

  22. Those tamales looks delicious,Norma! What a great idea! You can’t go wrong with tamales 🙂

  23. Marisa says:

    I am in love with this idea. Great job! I want one!

  24. holy cow, these sound so good. I want some. I just have to find the corn husks here. That might be a challenge. 🙂

  25. Pingback: I probably won’t be starting a food blog, but tamales anyone? | breathelighter

  26. Those photos are just gorgeous. I love the way the corn husks look… like full petticoats in your perfect photos. Recipe looks terribly good. I love squash~

  27. Karen says:

    What a great idea to make a sweet tamale…I’m sure they were delicious.

  28. Tamales, what a great idea for this month’s makeover! So much love goes into the process of tamale making (and eating)!

  29. sofia rubio says:

    Aparte de la recetas, tus fotografias son tambien maravillosas. Eres muy creativa.

    Love everything sweet!

    Thanks for sharing.

  30. sofia rubio says:

    Forgot to ask. Can they be spread and wrapped on aluminum paper?

  31. How gorgeous Norma. I might see you soon……..! I’ll email. Lots of love.

  32. Pingback: Pollo con Calabaza « healingthymeproducts

  33. Pingback: Tamales with Chicken Filling | familyrecipebooks

  34. Robin says:

    I’m having trouble with the consistency of the finished Tamal. It seems like its not cooking thoroughly. But my end results looks very similar to the photo above. Do the Tamal’s completely dry or do they remain somewhat mushy?

  35. Pingback: Latinize Your Thanksgiving Leftovers! | Delish D'Lites

  36. Ingenious recipe. I would never have thought to make a sweet, pumpkin tamale! I bet these are so addicting! You are going to start a new, nation-wide trend when pumpkin comes around again next Fall. Best – Shanna

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s