Tamales are a Christmas tradition for a lot of families, I know they are over here! They are, however, usually made with lard and meat broth in the masa as well as meat fillings and often butter. So this makes finding a vegan tamale troublesome. They are, however, very easy to make!
3c instant masa (this is found in many super markets now, it may say nixtamalized masa, usually says para tamales)
1/2c vegan shortening or pure coconut oil
1tbs baking powder
few cups of your favorite broth (I honestly have no exact measurement, just until the consistency is right) and any flavor will work though i love mushroom and veggie
Whip up your shortening until it’s bit fluffier and very soft. Add the masa and baking powder and mix well … it will be very crumbly. With your mixer on medium-low, begin dribbling in your broth 1/4 cup at a time. Once your mixture looks like thick peanut butter it’s done. I usually let it rest for at least an hour before making my tamales. Fillings are limited only by imagination, you can put anything you like in there.
For sweet tamales, instead of broth use some juice. Pineapple juice and apple juice work great and your filling ingredients can just be mixed right into the masa. Pineapple, walnuts and raisins is one of my favorites. My dad made some with cocoa powder in the masa and strawberries inside that were amazing! **edit: I just made some sweet tamales with pineapples, pecans and coconut milk in the masa - super, super delicious. So coconut milk makes a really nice, rich replacement for broth!
I’m not going to give tamale rolling instructions here, I figure you either know how to do that already or you can shuffle over to youtube and find some good video guides :)