This is really an excellent option to make a low-fat version of tamales for those of you that for dietary reasons, or because lard is not sold in your area, or simply is a personal preference not to eat pork or pork products.
– In a large pot, place the cornhusks and cover with hot water to soften them. Leave there for at least 30 minutes. Drain and reserve.
– Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients (corn masa-harina, baking powder and salt) , and stir in the vegetable oil. Pour the warm chicken broth and mix with a spatula until you form the dough into a creamy texture, similar to soft ice cream. If the dough doesn’t look as creamy as in the picture, add a little more broth, a tablespoon at the time.
– Spread about 3 tablespoons of the dough on the already soft corn husk using a spoon or spatula. Top with 2 tablespoons of the filling. Fold one left side of the husk to the center and then the right side to the center. Finally, fold the end toward the center of the tamal. Place the tamal on a tray while you finish assembling the rest.
– Now, get your steamer ready adding a couple of hot cups of water and line the steamer rack with corn husks. If you don’t have a steamer, place loose pieces of aluminum foil at the bottom of the pot to function as a steamer rack.
– Place the tamales standing up, cover with the rest of the corn husk, a clean dishtowel, and the pot lid.
– Cook for 60 minutes to 75 minutes over a medium heat. While cooking, add more hot water to the pot if needed, be careful with the steam while removing the lid. To make sure your tamales are done, remove one and if the corn husk can easily be removed from the dough they are ready. The tamales will firm up after cooked.