This is a good dish to serve at a party. It was inspired by a visit I made to the Carullo supermarket headquarters in Bogota. After I had had a tasting of all manner of exotic fruits, I was taken round the staff canteen. The cooks were preparing tamales for the evening shift, and I’d have loved to stay to eat with them. If possible, try to get one or two helpers. Ideally, the tamales should be wrapped in banana leaves or corn husks, but foil or greaseproof paper will do.
Sift the polenta, flour and salt together into a bowl. 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 and all the pork and sausages. Cook in a heavy saucepan with a little of the onion and tomato for about 30 minutes. In a separate pan, cook the remaining onion and tomato until soft, in a little oil if necessary.
Cut greaseproof paper into eight or ten in
The tamales can be served with a hot sauce, if you like, made by mixing finely chopped spring onion or leek, tomato, fresh chillies and fresh coriander leaves with lime juice or vinegar. Eat in the fingers when cooled a little, or with knife and fork.
© 1995 Frances Bissell. All rights reserved.