Tamales are a good dish to do for a party. If possible, try to get a couple of helpers, as the tamales should be wrapped in banana leaves or cornhusks, which takes time. If you can’t get cornhusks or banana leaves, foil or greaseproof paper will do.
Sift the polenta, flour and salt together. Mix in the olive oil, vinegar, cumin seeds, and enough stock to make a smooth paste that is firm enough to handle.
Dice the chicken, pork and sausages into small bite-size pieces. Cook in a heavy saucepan with a little of the onion and tomato for about 30 minutes. Season to taste. In a separate pan cook the remaining onion and tomato until soft.
Cut greaseproof paper into 8-10 squares. Spoon a tablespoon of the cornmeal paste into the centre of each, and flatten it to about
Carefully wrap the greaseproof paper around each tamale so that it is watertight, tying them, if necessary. Steam for at least an hour.
The tamales can be served with hot sauce, if you like, eaten in the fingers when cooled a little, or with knife and fork.
© 2000 Frances Bissell. All rights reserved.