Sohla Cooks 3000-Year-Old Tamales for the Holidays | Ancient Recipes With Sohla

12 Views· 12/22/21
0 Subscribers
In Other

It's holiday season in the Ancient Recipes kitchen, so Sohla creates a holiday staple with truly ancient origins - tamales!


Masa Dough Recipe:
- 1 pound fresh masa
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Dried corn husks

1. Beat together fresh masa and kosher salt with 1 tablespoon of water at a time until spreadable.

Mayan Iguana Filling Recipe:
- 4 dried guajillo chilies
- 2 dried chipotle chilies
- ½ pound tomatillos
- 1 medium onion, peeled and cut into quarters
- 1 pound boneless iguana meat
- 1 tablespoon dried epazote
- 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt

1. Use scissors to trim the stems off the guajillo and chipotles chilies and cut open. Remove the seeds.
2. In a dry skillet or comal, toast the chiles until fragrant and darkened.
3. Cover with warm water and soak at least 1 hour and up to overnight.
4. In a dry skillet or comal over medium-high heat, char the tomatillos and onion until blackened all around.
5. Add the tomatillos and onion to a molcajete or blender. Drain the chiles and add them in as well. Crush them all together in the molcajete adding water as you go to bring them together. Or if using a blender, add just enough water to cover and blend until smooth.
6. In a medium saucepan or dutch oven, add the iguana meat, chili puree, epazote, salt, and enough water to almost cover the meat (add water if needed, the puree might be enough liquid). Cover and bring to a simmer.
7. Reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer, and cook uncovered until the iguana is tender.
8. Using two forks, shred the iguana meat into small pieces.

Aztec Guava Filling Recipe:
- 1 pound guavas, roughly chopped
- 2 dried chipotle chilies
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- One 3-inch cinnamon stick
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt

1. Combine the guavas, chipotles, coriander, cinnamon, and salt in medium saucepan and add enough water to come halfway up the fruit.
2. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook gently, breaking up the fruit with a wooden spoon, until the fruit is totally tender and jammy, about 1 hour.
3. Pass the mixture through a colander or food mill to remove the seeds and spices.

Assembling & cooking the tamales:
- Corn husks

1. Soak the corn husks overnight.
2. Spread the masa evenly on the husk creating a thin layer.
3. Add in a spoonful or two of either filling.
4. Roll the tamale onto itself either in the traditional tamale shape or in the historical ball shape. Tie it together to keep its shape
5. Place a layer of medium sized rocks at the bottom of a large stock pot. Add enough water to come up about halfway on the rocks.
6. Place soaked corn husks on top of the rocks.
7. Add the tamales on top of that, being careful not to have any filling spill out.
8. Steam the tamales until the masa is tender and done

Stay up to date on all of your favorite The HISTORY Channel shows at

Ancient Recipes with Sohla takes the food you know and love and traces it back to its origins. In each episode, Sohla El-Waylly details the surprising history of some of our favorite dishes as she attempts to recreate the original version using historical cooking techniques and ingredients. Along the way, Sohla highlights the differences between the ancient recipe and how we would prepare the modern version today.


Subscribe for more Ancient Recipes with Sohla and other great The HISTORY Channel shows:

Learn more about The HISTORY Channel and watch full episodes on our site:

Check out exclusive HISTORY content:
History Newsletter -
Website -
Facebook -
Twitter -

HISTORY® is the leading destination for award-winning original series and specials that connect viewers with history in an informative, immersive, and entertaining manner across all platforms. The network’s all-original programming slate features a roster of hit series, premium documentaries, and scripted event programming.

Show more

 0 Comments sort   Sort By

Up next