Tamales de Mole Poblano wrapped in banana leaves is a cobination of two prior recipes – Mole Poblano con Pavo and Masa for Tamales. I’m not gonna fib…this is going to be an epic task. But you can parse the tasks over several days, or collaborate with someone who would like to take home a portion of the work product. Making tamales by yourself can be a massive undertaking. That said, I always seem to make tamales by myself. It’s meditative.
Collaborate When Making Tamales de Mole Poblano
When delegating tasks to your tamal making partners, it’s good to have some insider information. Making the mole and boiling the turkey will require some big cooking pots, and lots of patience. However, making the masa requires a long period of hand kneading, and patience to break up all the small, dry bits of masa that refuse to dissolve. So if you have a collaborator, try to pick the task that suits you best.
I usually buy my banana leaves fresh at the supermarket. They come in large bundles of approximately 5 lbs (2kg). Simply unroll the bundle, trim away the spines, wipe them clean with a damp cloth, and wilt them over a hot griddle. I have never purchased the frozen banana leaves at the grocery store, so I can’t vouch for their quality.
Can you freeze Banana Leaf Tamales?
Also, any tamal wrapped in banana leaves will take on an unpleasant flavor if they are frozen. If you make tamales wrapped in banana leaves, you must eat them within 3-5 days. However, I do know people that freeze banana leaf tamales. They remove the tamal from the banana leaf after it is cooked, wrap the tamal in plastic, re-wrap the plastic wrapped tamal in the banana leaf (for cosmetic presentation), and then freeze it. With this technique, the tamal does not take on the unpleasant flavor of the frozen banana leaf. Inevitably, someone will forget that the tamales are secretly wrapped in plastic, and steam the frozen banana leaf tamal, plastic and all. I do not like steaming with plastic wrap, as you never know what petrochemical residue is left on your food. I prefer to make a massive batch of banana leaf tamales, and share them with friends and relatives as soon as they are ready.
Good luck with making your Tamales de Mole with Banana Leaves. It’s a tall order, but I wouldn’t let a year go by without making several batches.Print
Tamales de Mole Poblano with Banana Leaves
- Prep Time: 2 days
- Cook Time: 1 hour
- Total Time: 49 hours
- Yield: 4 dozen tamales
- Category: Tamales
- Method: Steaming
- Cuisine: Mexican
1 recipe Masa for Tamales
1 recipe Mole Poblano con Pavo
5lb bundle fresh banana leaves (2kg)
Follow the instructions for the recipes listed above. Once those tasks are completed, you will then need to prepare your banana leaves for making the tamales.
Cut away the stiff spine on each leaf, and cut the leaves into sheets thar roughly measure 8″x8″ (20cm x 20cm). Wipe each leaf clean with a damp cloth.
Heat a griddle on the stove. Using a spatula, wilt the banana leaf on the hot griddle until the color changes from vibrant green to dull green. Once it is wilted, spread a large spoonful of masa across the leaf, and then add a portion of the mole poblano con pavo (see example in photo.) Fold the edges of the leaf over to form the tamal (do not roll like a pinwheel.) Fold into a bundle, and place in a steamer.
Fill the steamer with water, and begin to heat on the stove. Once the water is boiling, begin to time your steaming tamales. With larger tamales, the steaming should take 45-60 minutes. Check a sample tamale by unfolding it. Opaque dough is a sign that the tamales are not completely steamed. If you find an opaque spot, simply return your sample tamal to the pot, and steam for 15 more minutes.
IMPORTANT!! Make sure your steamer does not run out of water. If the steamer runs dry, the pot will scorch and impart an ashy burnt flavor to your tamales.