Pepita, Egg and Chaya Tamales

pumpkin seedseggstamales

Pepita, Egg and Chaya Tamales

Pepita, Egg and Chaya Tamales

Tamales Dzotobichay 

Recipe Yield

14 to 16 tamales

Cooking time

1 hour

Rate this recipe

4.75 from 4 votes


For the masa:

  • 1 pound chaya leaves can sub Swiss chard or spinach
  • 3 1/4 cups (about 1 pound) GOYA® Masarica
  • 2 3/4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup lard or vegetable shortening
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher or coarse sea salt or to taste, divided
  • 3 stems fresh epazote about 15 leaves, or sub cilantro, coarsely chopped

For the tamales:

  • 1/2 cup hulled raw pumpkin seeds lightly toasted
  • GOYA® Banana Leaves cut into 12” long pieces, rinsed, plus more for steaming tamales
  • 4 large eggs hardboiled, cooled, peeled, and cut lengthwise into 6 pieces
  • 1 cup Roasted Tomato and Habanero Salsa for filling, plus more for garnish

To Prepare

To make the masa:

  • Bring salted water to a boil in a large pot over high heat. Once boiling, add the chaya leaves and let them cook for 2 minutes. Drain completely. Let them sit as you make the masa. Press with your hands to remove excess liquid as much as you can. Coarsely chop.
  • In a large bowl, combine the masa harina with the broth, using your hands to knead the dough until thoroughly mixed and very smooth, not “grainy.” Add the lard or vegetable shortening, and work it in, kneading, for a few minutes. Add 2 teaspoons of the salt, the chopped chaya and epazote, and mix until fully incorporated.

To assemble the tamales:

  • In a small saute pan or comal, set over medium-low heat, toast the pumpkin seeds for 3 to 4 minutes, until they are lightly toasted. Don't let them brown or burn. Remove from the heat. Once they cool down, either finely chop or coarsely grind them in a spice mill or food processor along with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Scrape onto a bowl.
  • To prepare the banana leaves, turn a burner on to medium-low heat. Slowly pass each banana-leaf piece over the flame on both sides, until they change color and become fragrant, and set aside (so they will be resilient, malleable, and will not break).
  • One by one, set each leaf piece on your counter with the shiny, outer side down. Spoon about 1/3 cup of masa onto the center and spread to form a rectangle of about 5”x 3.” With the spoon, or your finger, make a shallow channel down the middle, creating a stripe in the masa. Add a couple teaspoons ground pepita, a couple pieces of hard boiled egg, and top with a tablespoon of salsa. Gently close each tamal by folding the longer sides first and then the short sides as if making a flat and tight package, but being careful not to press on the tamal too much.
  • Prepare your tamalera or steamer by adding just enough water to touch the bottom of the steaming basket. Line the steaming basket with a few banana-leaf pieces to gently cover the base. One by one, add the tamales, stacking them as evenly as you can, staggered in the same position as when you made them: laying them flat. Once you are done, cover with a few more pieces of banana leaves. Set the steamer uncovered over high heat, once there is a bit of steam coming out and the water starts boiling a few minutes later, cover, reduce heat to medium, and cook for an hour.
  • The leaves will have changed to a much darker color and will have completely wilted to wrap themselves as a second skin over the tamales, and the tamales should feel firm. Turn off the heat. Let the tamales sit for at least 15 minutes before serving so they will settle. Serve the tamales with the roasted tomato and habanero salsa.

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4comments inPepita, Egg and Chaya Tamales

  1. Lynn

    Feb 24

    My “meat-a-holic” husband loved these tamales. Although, I have to admit I did not use lard or shortening, instead I used what I had, butter and olive oil (1:1 ratio). And, in northern Arizona, banana leaves are not easily found, so I used corn husks instead. Therefore, I’m sure the flavor of my tamales was altered by my changes, but they were still great. Thanks for motivating me to experiment with tamales.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Feb 29

      So happy you both enjoyed the tamales, yay!

  2. Miguel Dominguez

    Nov 20

    Gracias por la receta; delicioso sabor

    1. Pati Jinich

      Nov 21

      Que bueno que te gusto Miguel!

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