Rajas tamales recipe

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Tamales are traditionally prepared by steaming, so the pressure pot is perfect for the job. It creates fluffy, tender tamales in only 15 minutes, once they’re inside. The rajas chilies in this dish add a wonderfully rich, smoky taste.

  • Yield: 10 Servings
  • Total Time: 1 Hour 30 Minutes


  • 2 large chilies, poblano
  • 25 corn husks, dried
  • 2 sticks of softened butter, unsalted
  • 3 cups of masa harina (dried corn dough)
  • Salt, kosher
  • 2 cups of warm, filtered water + three more cups for
The Pressure Pot
  • 8 oz of Monterey Jack cheese shreds
To Serve
  • cilantro, fresh and salsa
How to Make It
  1. Place the corn husks in large sized bowl. Cover with filtered cold water. Use a plate to weigh them down so the husks remain submerged. Soak till pliable and softened, about a half hour.
  2. Heat a broiler with a rack about four inches from the heating element of your stove. Cut the poblano chilies in halves lengthways. Remove veins and seeds. Place with cut side facing down on cookie sheet. Turn often while broiling till all sides are charred.
  3. Transfer chilies to bowl and cover with cling wrap. Allow to sit for 10-15 minutes. When you can safely handle them, rub with paper towels to remove the skins. Don’t tear the flesh. Cut into strips.
  4. Beat butter till creamy and light in mixer. Mix the warm water, masa harina and 1 tsp. of salt by hand till it has formed a dough. Add this mixture to the butter. Beat till fluffy and light.
  5. Remove corn husks from the water, and allow the excess to drip off. Work in batches to lay the husks on your work surface. Tear a couple of the husks into ¼” wide strips that will be used for tying the husks.
  6. Spread ¼ cup of dough on centers of all remaining husks. Place several strips of chilies and some cheese in middle of the dough. Bring the long sides together and encase the dough. Fold in the two short sides. Use the strips of husks to tie tamales closed.
  7. Place 1” rack in large pressure pot. Add three cups of water. Place steamer insert inside. Stand tamales upright in the steamer insert.
  8. Secure the pressure pot lid. Set manually for 15 minutes.
  9. When timer goes off, turn pot off and release pressure quickly, before removing the lid. Allow tamales to cool a bit. Serve with salsa and cilantro.

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