tamales pisques
Tamales Pisques
Prep Time
1 hr 30 mins
Cook Time
2 hrs
Total Time
3 hrs 30 mins
Tamales pisques are a Salvadoran dish that consists of seasoned corn masa mixed with refried beans, and neatly wrapped in plantain leaves.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Latin American, Salvadoran, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 30 tamales
Author: Nita Ragoonanan
For the dough
  • 2 lb masa harina (nixtmalized maize flour)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 onion , quartered
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 green bell peppers (bull’s horn), seeded and diced
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable bouillon powder (or chicken bouillon powder)
  • 2 cups water (more or less)
For the refried beans
  • 2 lb red beans , cooked
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 onion , quartered
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tomato , peeled, seeded, cut into 4
  • ½ cup boiling water
  • Salt
  • Pepper
For the tamales
Required material
Puréed beans
  1. In a large Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Sauté the onion, garlic and tomatoes for 5 minutes, stirring regularly.
  3. Add the red kidney beans, salt, pepper and fry over medium-high heat for 10 minutes, stirring very regularly.
  4. Pour all this preparation, with the oil, in a blender. Add the boiling water and blend until getting a thick consistency, but not too firm. If necessary, add a little boiling water. Set aside.
Tamale dough
  1. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat.
  2. Sauté the onion, garlic and green bell peppers for 10 minutes, stirring regularly.
  3. Pour all this preparation, with the oil, into a blender.
  4. Add ½ cup of water and blend until obtaining a velvety liquid.
  5. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the masa harina.
  6. Add the salt and chicken bouillon powder.
  7. Add the previously mixed preparation and start kneading.
  8. Gradually add the remaining water and knead in obtain a light dough (not solid).
  9. If necessary, add a little water or a little flour to obtain the desired consistency.
Banana leaves
  1. Boil a large amount of water in a large pot.
  2. Using a pair of pliers, take each leaf and immerse each of them in boiling water for 5 seconds, one at a time.
  3. Drain and dry with a cloth.
Assembly of the tamales
  1. On a sheet of parchment paper, place a banana leaf in its center.
  2. In the center of the banana leaf, place about two tablespoons of dough and flatten the dough until forming a circle.
  3. Place 2 teaspoons of red bean purée in the center of the dough.
  4. Using the parchment paper, close the tamale giving it a rectangular or square shape. Tie the tamales with the cooking twine.
  5. Repeat until the dough is used up.
Cooking of the tamales
  1. Place the tamales in a large Dutch oven.
  2. Cover them with boiling water.
  3. Cook covered over low-medium heat for 1h30.
  4. If necessary, add boiling water during cooking.