carrot & habanero tamales

lightly adapted from Bon Appétit.



  • 1 cup masa harina (about 5 ounces; preferably Bob’s Red Mill or Masienda)
  • 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal or ½ tsp. Morton kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 2½ cups vegetable stock or low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 Tablespoons grapeseed or vegetable oil


  • 4 medium carrots (about 1 pound), peeled and sliced ¼” thick on a diagonal
  • 1 habanero chile, halved
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 Tablespoon grapeseed or vegetable oilKosher salt


  • 8 dried corn husks, soaked in hot water at least an hour, or eight 10×5″ pieces parchment paper
  • 1 carrot, peeled
  • ½ cup hot sauce
  • 4 cups arugula or mizen
  • Flaky sea salt


  1. Whisk masa harina, salt, and baking powder in a large bowl to combine. Whisk stock and oil in a medium bowl to combine, then gradually add to dry ingredients, mixing with your hands until thick and oozy (dough should be about the consistency of thick fresh ricotta)—you may not need all of the stock mixture. Cover dough tightly and let sit at room temperature until ready to use.
  2. Place a rack in middle of oven; preheat to 450°. Spread out carrots, chile, and garlic in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle vegetables with oil; season with salt. Turn to coat, then roast until carrots are tender and starting to brown, about 10 minutes.
  3. Let vegetables sit until cool enough to handle, then transfer to a food processor and pulse to a coarse purée. Taste and season filling with more salt if needed. Transfer to a medium bowl.
  4. Place a steamer basket inside a large pot and pour in water just until it reaches basket. Bring to a simmer.
  5. Working one at a time, lay a corn husk vertically on your work surface. Place a golf-ball-size amount of dough just above the center of the husk. Spoon about 1 Tbsp. filling on top and enclose in dough. Fold sides of corn husk up and over dough, then fold the flap closest to you upward to meet the top edge of the upper flap. Turn over so tamal stays closed. Repeat with remaining husks, dough, and filling.
  6. Arrange tamales in steamer, flap side down (it’s okay if you need to layer them). Reduce heat to medium, cover pot, and steam tamales about 45 minutes – 1 hour, depending on the thickness of your dough and size of your tamales.
  7. Meanwhile, fill a medium bowl with ice water. Using a vegetable peeler, shave carrot in long ribbons into bowl and let sit until ready to use.
  8. To serve, place 2 tamales on each plate and unwrap. Drizzle some hot sauce over and top with a big mound of arugula and some carrot ribbons; sprinkle with sea salt.

makes 8 tamales.

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