Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tamales

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tamales
Print Recipe
Makes 12-16 tamales Tamales de Camote con Frijol
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup lard or vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 2/3 cups corn masa flour or masa harina (such as Maseca)
  • 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • 24 dried corn husks
  • 2 cups refried beans
  • 1 cup Mexican crema
  • 1 cup queso fresco crumbled
To Prepare
  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Wrap the sweet potatoes in aluminum foil. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until completely cooked and soft. Remove from the oven. When cool enough to handle, cut open and scoop out the cooked pulp into a bowl. Set aside to cool.
  • To make the tamal masa: Place the lard or vegetable shortening and 1/2 teaspoon of salt into a mixer, and beat over medium speed until very light, about 1 minute. Reduce speed to low, add baking powder and sugar, and take turns adding the corn masa flour and the broth. Raise speed back to medium and continue beating another 6 to 7 minutes, until the dough is homogeneous. In batches, add the cooled sweet potato pulp and continue beating for another 5 to 6 minutes, until the masa looks fluffed up.
  • To assemble the tamales: Soak the dried corn husks in hot water for a couple minutes, or until they are pliable, and drain. Lay out a corn husk with the tapering end towards you. Spread about 1/3 cup masa into about a 2” to 3” square, the layer should be about 1/4” thick, leaving a border of at least 1/2” on the sides. Place about 2 teaspoons of refried beans in the middle of the masa square.
  • Pick up the two long sides of the corn husk and bring them together (you will see how the masa starts to swaddle the filling) and fold them to one side, rolling them in same direction around tamal. Fold up the empty section of the husk with the tapering end, from the bottom up. This will form a closed bottom and the top will be left open. Gently squeeze from the bottom to the top to even the filling out without pressing to hard. As you assemble all the tamales, place them as upright as you can in a container.
  • To prepare the tamalera or steamer: Place water in the bottom pan of a steamer, so that water is under the steamer basket or rack, and bring it to a simmer. Line the steamer with one or two layers of soaked corn husks.
  • To cook the tamales: When you have all tamales ready, place them as vertically as you can, into the prepared steamer with the open end on top. If there is space left in the steamer, tuck in some corn husks, so the tamales won’t dance around. Cover with more corn husks, and steam covered with a lid for 55 minutes to an hour. You know the tamales are ready when they come easily free from the husks. They will still be moist, and as they are released from the husks – you will see the moisture, like when you remove good moist muffins from their paper baking cups.
  • Finished tamales will stay warm for about 2 hours in the steamer. They can be made ahead several days before and stored in refrigerator, well wrapped. They can also be frozen for months. In either case, reheat in a steamer. For refrigerated tamales, it will take about 20 minutes and about 45 minutes for frozen tamales.
  • You can serve with a spoonful of Mexican crema and crumbled queso fresco on top.
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup lard or vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 2/3 cups corn masa flour or masa harina (such as Maseca)
  • 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • 24 dried corn husks
  • 2 cups refried beans
  • 1 cup Mexican crema
  • 1 cup queso fresco crumbled
To Prepare
  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Wrap the sweet potatoes in aluminum foil. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until completely cooked and soft. Remove from the oven. When cool enough to handle, cut open and scoop out the cooked pulp into a bowl. Set aside to cool.
  • To make the tamal masa: Place the lard or vegetable shortening and 1/2 teaspoon of salt into a mixer, and beat over medium speed until very light, about 1 minute. Reduce speed to low, add baking powder and sugar, and take turns adding the corn masa flour and the broth. Raise speed back to medium and continue beating another 6 to 7 minutes, until the dough is homogeneous. In batches, add the cooled sweet potato pulp and continue beating for another 5 to 6 minutes, until the masa looks fluffed up.
  • To assemble the tamales: Soak the dried corn husks in hot water for a couple minutes, or until they are pliable, and drain. Lay out a corn husk with the tapering end towards you. Spread about 1/3 cup masa into about a 2” to 3” square, the layer should be about 1/4” thick, leaving a border of at least 1/2” on the sides. Place about 2 teaspoons of refried beans in the middle of the masa square.
  • Pick up the two long sides of the corn husk and bring them together (you will see how the masa starts to swaddle the filling) and fold them to one side, rolling them in same direction around tamal. Fold up the empty section of the husk with the tapering end, from the bottom up. This will form a closed bottom and the top will be left open. Gently squeeze from the bottom to the top to even the filling out without pressing to hard. As you assemble all the tamales, place them as upright as you can in a container.
  • To prepare the tamalera or steamer: Place water in the bottom pan of a steamer, so that water is under the steamer basket or rack, and bring it to a simmer. Line the steamer with one or two layers of soaked corn husks.
  • To cook the tamales: When you have all tamales ready, place them as vertically as you can, into the prepared steamer with the open end on top. If there is space left in the steamer, tuck in some corn husks, so the tamales won’t dance around. Cover with more corn husks, and steam covered with a lid for 55 minutes to an hour. You know the tamales are ready when they come easily free from the husks. They will still be moist, and as they are released from the husks – you will see the moisture, like when you remove good moist muffins from their paper baking cups.
  • Finished tamales will stay warm for about 2 hours in the steamer. They can be made ahead several days before and stored in refrigerator, well wrapped. They can also be frozen for months. In either case, reheat in a steamer. For refrigerated tamales, it will take about 20 minutes and about 45 minutes for frozen tamales.
  • You can serve with a spoonful of Mexican crema and crumbled queso fresco on top.

28 comments on “Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tamales

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  1. Hi Pati, Im from México and I never see the mexican recipes like i do now!! Really love your program and I want to start cooking with al the mexicans flavors! Thanks for your recipes!!

  2. I would love the comparison of calories and fat to ones that are fried in oil. I couldn’t find the nutrition page for this. These looked amazing. I love watching you cook, and my kids do to. Thanks. My daughter really likes your accent. 🙂

  3. Hola Patty!
    Hoy vi tu show y lloré y lloré!!!
    Soy mexicana y vivo en Colorado, la verdad me dieron ganas de regresar a México, no se cuando voy a volver, pero una cosa que sí voy a hacer es cocinar tus recetas tan deliciosas y llenas de sabor, pero sobretodo de amor, nosotros los mexicanos relacionamos mucho el amor a las personas y el invitarlos a comer comida preparada por nosotros mismos, ahí está nuestro cariño, y el tiempo que invertí en prepararla y sobretodo la satisfacción de saber que les gustó!
    Eres una mujer muy especial, bendiciones para ti y tu hermosa familia!!!

  4. Watched all day. Luv her show and the way she explains how to do meals. Making sweet potato tamales can’t wait till there done. Keep up the great show. You are so appriciated. Makes me hungry watching, wish I could visit the places she goes tho…………I would probly never leave. Lol

  5. Can’t wait to try this recipe. I love all kinds of ethnic cuisine but my husband is a meat and potato man. He does love tacos and enchiladas rice and refried beans. I think he will like this dish. Thank you so much for your show.

  6. This looks so good. In New Mexico we make our traditional pork tamales with red Chile. I’ve always wanted a sweet one and something different.. I just saw your show for the first time and loved it. Thank you for your passion with food.

  7. These tamales are perfect for Thanksgiving. I absolutely love your show and your charisma. I am Salvadorian and I relate so much to Oaxacan food because our ingredients are so similar. Thanks for sharing all the history and culture.

  8. These sound really good and my “Nebraska Box” of fresh organic vegetables has sweet potatoes in it this week. I have the rest of the ingredients in stock Yay! Tamales for dinner.

  9. I saw this episode on Saturday and this tamale looked delicious! Also appreciated the vegetarian feast you made!

    I was hoping to use this sweet potato masa and black bean combo to make a modified tamal casserole from your Mexican Today cookbook. Is there a specific salsa you would use to layer in and keep things moist?

  10. D ear Pati,

    I have low vision and can no longer read my email. Is there any way that I can receive your recipes in the mail? I will, pf course, send money for postage.

    I’m a new viewer of your show and look forward to it every week. Thank you for your time and attention.

    1. Thank you so much for watching Kathy! I’m so happy you discovered the show. You can print the recipes directly from the website and on your printer zoom in to make the text bigger. The print button is to the right of the recipes title and just above where the amount of servings is written. I hope you enjoy the recipes!

  11. I love watching Pati’s Mexican Table. Pati explains so perfectly how to remake her recipes and the history that makes each one so rich and flavorful.