Tamale pie is one of my husband’s favourite vegetarian midweek dinners that usually lasts for about 2-3 days, depending on how many hungry visitors wander through my kitchen. Alternatively you can freeze the leftovers for another day.
What I love about tamale is that it wins on so many fronts. It is healthy and great for losing weight as it is high in plant proteins but low in fat which means that you won’t feel hungry (if you are very serious about losing weight you can replace the cheddar cheese with some parmesan or leave it out completely but it is never good to be too serious 😉 )
The dish is also a great source of fibre, vitamins and minerals and counts as one of your five a day. Not only is it healthy and good for your waist (and wallet) it is also very simple to put together – a perfect store cupboard dish for those days that you don’t have time to run to the supermarket.
Serve it with your favourite salad (I love to pair it with a nice bowl of Pico de Gallo – recipe here) and some guacamole – recipe here and a dollop of soured cream. This is also the perfect combination for Cinco de Mayo, a Mexican holiday, celebrated every year on the 5th of May which happens to be today 😉 (truth is that I did not even know about Cinco de Mayo until recently but it sounds like a lot of fun and a great excuse to create a Mexican feast at home).
For a large rectangular baking dish that serves 4-6 people you will need: 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 red onion, 2 red peppers, 1 tbsp ground cumin, 1 tbsp ground paprika, ½ tbsp dried chilli flakes, 1 tin chopped tomatoes, 1 tin kidney beans, 1 tin black beans, 1 tin (325 g) sweet corn, salt & pepper, 90g (3 oz) polenta, 100g (3.5 oz) self-rising flour, ½ tbsp baking powder, ½ tsp salt, 225 ml (1 cup) milk, 1 egg, 100 g (1 cup) grated cheddar cheese.
Printable recipe at the end of this post!
Dice two red peppers and 1 red onion.
Fry the red onion in two tbsp of olive oil for about 3-4 minutes at medium heat.
Add 1 tbsp of paprika, 1 tbsp of cumin & 1 tsp (or more if you prefer it spicier) of ground chilli and fry for about 30 seconds.
Next, add the diced pepper and fry for another 3-4 minutes
Add 1 tin chopped tomatoes, then drain and add 1 tin black beans, 1 tin kidney beans & 1 tin sweet corn. Bring to a gentle simmer and simmer for about 5 minutes.
In the meantime prepare the topping by combining your dry ingredients – 90g polenta, 100g flour, 1/2 tsp salt & 1/2 tbsp baking powder. In a jug measure 225 ml milk and mix in 1 medium egg (this way you do not have to clean up yet another bowl).
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients
and combine everything.
Pour the bean mixture into a large rectangular baking dish
Spread the polenta mix on top
Lastly sprinkle grated cheddar on top. Place into a pre-heated oven fan 170ºC (325F) or conventional oven at 190ºC (375F) for 35-40 minutes.