Tamales Tolimenses (Tolima Region Tamales)
- 2 pounds of pork ribs cut into small pieces
- 12 pieces of chicken
- 1 pound pork belly cut into small pieces
- 4 medium potatoes peeled and sliced
- 2 large carrots peeled and sliced
- 6 cooked eggs sliced
- 1 cup peas
- 3 cups cooked rice
- Place all the marinade ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth. Reserve ½ cup of the marinade to prepare the masa.
- In a large plastic bowl place all the meat, add 1 ½ cups of the marinade. Mix well, cover and refrigerate overnight.
- To prepare the masa: Place the masarepa in a large bowl, add the water, salt, sazon Goya or color and reserved marinade. Mix well with a wooden spoon or your hands.
- Wash the leaves well with hot water and set aside.
- To assemble the tamales: Place 1 piece of the leaf on a work surface and place a second leaf on top, pointing in the opposite direction, like forming a cross.
- . Spread ½ cup of masa and about ¼ cup of rice in the center of the banana leaves, at the point where they connect and form a cross. Place, 1 piece pork belly, 1 piece of chicken and 1 piece of rib on top of the masa and place about 1 tablespoon of peas, 1 or 2 slices of carrots and 2 slices of potatoes on top of the meat.
- Bring the corners of the banana leaves up to the middle of the filling, and tie it with butcheru2019s string right above the filling, so that there is a tuft of leaves above the string (see picture). Continue the process until all the tamales are wrapped and tied.
- Bring a large pot with salted water to a boil. Add the tamales and then reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for 2 hours. Remove the tamales from the pot and let them sit for about 5 minutes before serving. Cut the stirring and serve in the leaves. Serve hogao on the side if desired.
Tamal is an important dish in Colombian cuisine and you'll find them on almost all traditional Colombian restaurant menus. There are many different variations of tamales throughout the country. Tamales Tolimense is a recipe I have been planning to share with you for some time now.
The filling in this tamal is chicken, pork belly, pork ribs, boiled egg, carrots, peas, potatoes, rice, condiments, and masa, all wrapped with plantain leaves. In the Tolima region of Colombia it is traditional to eat Tamal Tolimense for breakfast with hot chocolate and arepa.
Tamal is a dish loved all around Colombia, and I want to share all of the many variations with you. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did!
Marinade:4 garlic cloves1 large green bell pepper, chopped4 tablespoons ground cuminSalt
Masa:5 cups chicken stock
Water and Salt to cook the tamales
That is a festival of flavors. I've never had anything like it and am sorry - because I love everything in it. Plantains are readily available in MN but have never seen the leaves.
Claudia, do you have the Mexican Mercados where you live? Worth seeking them out... we live in a small town yet we do have some here (granted, we're somewhat more close to S.A. than MN is!)
What a delicious tamale! I love how it's a full meal all in one little bundle!
I love this concept- I would like to try one some day!
I'm opita and I made these for my family on Christmas and they loved them! Gracias!
Erica - What a presentation! It's like opening a present. I love the variety of ingredients in these tamales.
I've been looking for pork belly. Where did you find yours?
Kim- I find pork belly at my local market, but usually you can find it at Latin American markets.
I would love to taste this tamal; learn how to make it too!
I am crazy about tamales. We have our version which is the "pasteles" that are only made during the holidays, Nov-Jan. I refuse to make them unless I have volunteers as it takes many hours to prepare.
I have never heard of this version. I would enjoy this one as it has lots of meat. As they say in my country "no esta siego".
I love a good temal.... and its get time to have them.. My mother in law makes them for New years. What about the other one from Colombia? I really like to make a dish with a recipe....
Francijoe- Did you check my mom's tamales recipe?
Do you use all the Marinade for masa. I see you said a half cup for the masa. Where do you use the other masa?
Francijoe- The other 1/2 cup is for the meat.
Do you actually put the whole tamale into the pot of water??? not just steam them on a rack? THE COLORS AND TEXTURES ARE ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL and thank you for sharing your photos and step x step!
Rose- Yes, I put them in the water....like my mom 🙂
Could you give me the link for your mom´s
That looks so flavorful! Am sure it makes a great meal on its own..yummy!
Mely (Mexico in my kitchen)
Great job with the tamales. Me imagino que deben de tner una gran variedad de tamales en Colombia al igual que en Mexico. Nunca me imagine que usaran la masa para arepas para los tamales. Estoy aprendiendo mucho en tu bog.
Mely (Mexico in my kitchen)
Great tamales. I love that they have pork and chicken with vegetables.
What an incredible combination of flavors. I love each ingredient individually, but this is truly the case where the sum far exceeds the individual parts. Amazing, thats all I can say.
muchas gracias yo he estado viviendo en el estado de n.y. por 38 anos y he tenido muchotrabajo consiguiendo las recetas colombianas mi madre que era una excelente cocinera murio un mes antes de que mi hija naciera, y yo perdi el deseo de volver o comer comida COLOMBIANA ELLA me habia enviado todas las recetas en cada una de sus cartas pero mi suegra me voto todas sus cartas en la basura perdiendo asi ls mejores recetas de colombia.hata ahora enconttre este site y llore mucho encontrando algo quqe hab ia buscado practicamente toda mi vida especialmente cerca de las navidades me da mucho anoro por la comida de un lougar que fue mi patria donde yo naci. mil gracias a todos usteds por compaartir sus recetas y recuerdos de su patria ,muchos de los colombianos que he comocido en este pais me han dado las recetas mal o nome las han dado que trsteza pero ahoara es difente se ve que las personas cambian mil fgracias por todoy con mucha gratitud por ofrecer algo muy bello la comida colombiana que Dios los bendigan ligia
Hola, que bueno saber que hay personas como usted que quieren conocer cosas de mi hermoso pais, le cuento que he vivido aqui por 13 anhos, pero aprendi mucho en mi pais, mi esposa es colombiana, del Tolima, y hacemos tamales por encargo, mas omenos una vez al mes aqui en Elizabeth, nj, somos muchos los colombianos aqui. en muchos supermercados hispanos se consigue casi todo para preparar recetas colombianas. mucha suerte.
Thank you all for the wonderful comments!
thank you so much for the recipe it has been a real time saver and they look delicious thank you
this recipe is just like what ive eaten growing up. being half colombian and puerto rican ive gotton the best of both tamales and pasteles :), my colombian side is from tolima also great recipe~blanca
Hi Erica, Thanks for inspiring me to make the Tamales. I still can't believe i Did it! they came out good, no really Great. the only thing is do they suppose to have some water running from the leaves? Also do you think i can freeze them and how should i reheat them?
thanks again.!!! Deliciosos!!
SandrisW- You have to wrap them really good!You are not suppose to have water inside! Next time you can wrap them with foil after the leaves and that will help you.
You can freeze them and reheat them in salted water.
Finally, I found a site that gives the recipes in English. I was born in Colombia, but have been raised here in US.
Could you please indicate how many tamales are made from you tamales tolimenses recipe?
Also, in our home we don't consume pork. Any suggestions on alternatives? Ie, more chicken thighs or beef ribs...
Erika, does the chicken and the pork have to be cooked first before the whole thing is wrapped?
Claudia- I don't cook the meat before, but some people do it!
Thank you Erika! I've been dreaming with tamales tolimenses and I'm so happy I found this recipe. I have some question though and I would love it if you can help:
1. For the masa, you listed chicken stock as one of the ingredients but on step 3 (To prepare the masa) you didn't mention it, instead, you said water. So, can I actually replace chicken stock with water?
2. Can you buy the chicken stock at the supermarket (like the chicken broth)?
3. How much water do you use to cook the tamales?
Thank you so much for sharing all these amazing recipes 😀
Thank you so much for this great recipe, The Columbian restaurant where we used to have Tamales closed recently and know I'm going to try them myself!
Can i also use Harina P.A.N. because here in belgium i can't find the Goya products.
Sofie- Yes,I love Harina PAN!
Great! A shop nearby sells Harina Pan! I had to do a lot off calls and internetsearching before finding it! I'm going to try them and hope they will be as great ass at the restaurant! Yours shure look fantastic!
Thank you for sharing this ubiquitous Colombian favorite and all other recipes that only us, Colombians know about. You may want to tell your bloggers that Colombia has many different varieties of Tamales, which vary from region to region. Some of the others include garbanzo beans, my favorite, and others also more vegetables. Your instructions are good. However, if you allow me to add one comment, it's important to add that the final boiling part is crucial, and that the tamales must NOT be submerged under water. If it's not explained, your readers might boil them rather than steam them. At home, we put a bed of rocks on which to place a rack at the bottom of the stock pot in order to allow the tamales to sit on the rack and away from the water. I repeat, the tamales are not boiled under water, they are steamed!
thank you for your recipes. I'm currently resear hing and writing a Colombian cookbook. So, I've been reading your blog to see if there are other varieties I may not heard about. You're doing a good job, thanks.
Estos tamales suena riquisimos y faciles de hacer pero tengo una pregunta puedo sustituir el cerdo por alguna otra carne como pollo o carne 🙁 es que soy alergica al cerdo espero tu respuesta Erica, Gracias por todas tus deliciosas recetas 😀
Julieth, Use chicken!
I had these tamales when i went to colombia a few years ago and they are the best version of tamale i have ever had. i really wanna try to make. I had a few questions about the recipe. Do you stick raw meat into the tamale package? and do you stick the entire package after wrapped in the boiling water? Wont water get in? is there any other way to cook it because i am almost certain that i will manage to get water in package. thank you in advance!
You can wrap them with the leaves and after with foil.
You can use a steamer.
It is un-cooked meat
Many thanks for this terrific site I had these for breakfast in Bogota last year & it's time to cook some up here
GRACIAS ESTA MUY BUENA SU RECETA Y MUY COLOMBIANA , YO A MIS TAMALES LES PONGO ALBERJAS AMARILLAS PRECOCINADAS Y PIMIENTA
NEGRA MOLIDA, Y UNA AREPITA LA LADO,CHOCOLATE Y QUE VIVA COLOMBIA
tu pones el arroz blanco o lo preparas con sazon goya? en la fotos se ve amarillo
Gloria- I added color to the rice.
I am so excited to try this! I just married a wonderful man from Ibague, Tolima and the thing he misses the most is the Tolima- style tamales!
The tamales turned out great!!! Ran out of bananas leaves, was only able to make 7 from one package of banana leaves. Also tried the chickensancocho recipes and it was wonderfull. Remind me of home.
Thanks for the great web site.
Beautiful! Thank you for sharing it!
Hello, in step 6 of this recipe you show a picture with masa on top of the meat and veggies, but you never mention adding that nor how much. Please advise!
Hi, I am looking for a variation of the tamale from the Neiva, region. My husband's family is from that region and we want to make tamales for the holidays. Do you know a recipe from this region?
Mi madre hizo muchos tamales para la familia y son Huilences. Nunca e comido nada mejor que los tamales de mi mama. Son esquecitos y un sabor maravilloso y les pone una masa suave de maiz. Primero en la hoja del tamal le estiende la masa y luego el arroz con las arvejas amarillas secas, y dos rebanadas de papa delgadas y dos de nazanahoria, pollo, costilla de cerdo, bien sasonado, chorizo y una rebanada de huevo duro ensima y luego otro poquito de la masa de maiz con salsa y los pone a cocinar por tres horas al bano maria teneiendo en cuenta de hecharle agua cada vez que necesite, y los hace de buen tamano y super ricos.
Justo así como dices los armaba mi mamá que era to linense. Recuerdas por favor los condimentos que usa tu mamá? En la lista de la receta no aparecen los condimentos. Yo nunca he podido replicar los de mi mamá … no aún el sabor del arroz! Me haría muy feliz un día en su honor hacerlos y que se parecieran! Gracias.
Thanks so much for your recipes, they bring back so many memories. We moved to NY in 1968 when I was a kid and now live in Arkansas where you can't find Colombian food. Just found your blog and I love the pictures along with the recipes.My daughter loves to cook, so we are both going learn how to cook Colombian. Thanks again.
HOLA! ME ENCANTA LA RECETA! Tengo dos preguntas, la primera es, yo vivo en New York y quisiera saber si sabes donde se consiguen las hojas de platano aca.
La segunda es, nosotros no comemos cerdo, que puede reemplazar el pork belly?
Me encanta tu blog!
Saludos y felices fiestas!
What wonderful recuerdos de Colombia! I lived in Ibague, Tolima, in the Peace Corps in the early 70's. I remember fiestas with roast pork with a very tasty stuffing. What was it? I no longer eat red meat. (Being an environmentalist I do not support the livestock industry) but would like to return to the enjoyment of other Colombian dishes.
Hey Erica! I’ve made so many recipes of yours and absolutely love it, my husband is also vegetarian and I was wondering if you had any vegetarian tamales Ideas?
I don’t see ingredients for the marinate or masarepa in the ingredients list?
Estas instrucciones lucen mucho como los tamales que hacía mi mamá que era del Tolima. Se ven muy ricos!! Lamentablemente no recuerdo todos los ingredientes, por eso estoy hoy 31 recordándola y pensando en sus tamales. Mil gracias! Podrías por favor decirme qué ingredientes usas para marinar? No los veo en la lista de ingredientes. Y el arroz se cocina normalmente o algunos condimentos en especial? Mil gracias.