Garbanzo Bean Tamales

These tamales have a creamy texture, and the garbanzo beans give them a unique flavor, different from the typical corn tamales.

Serves: 10Hands-on: 1 hourTotal: 3 hours 20 minutesDifficulty: Medium

Serves: 10


  • 2 cups dried garbanzo beans, soaked overnight in water to cover
  • 1 cup lard
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper
  • 8 oz. pork loin
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 package (2 lb.) dry corn husks
  • 2 cups boiling water


  • Drain garbanzo beans and process in a blender or food processor until creamy.
  • Melt the lard in a saucepan, add the garlic and processed beans, and cook at medium heat, stirring often. Add chicken stock, salt, and pepper. When the mixture thickens and looks shiny (about 20 minutes), turn off the heat and reserve.
  • In another saucepan over high heat, cook the pork loin with enough water to cover, and add salt and pepper. Turn the heat to medium, put the lid on, and continue cooking until the meat is very tender (about 40 minutes). Turn off the heat, transfer the meat to a chopping board, and dice it.
  • In the same saucepan where you cooked the meat, heat the oil and sauté the onion, stirring constantly until very soft, about 10 minutes. Add the diced pork loin and turn off the heat.
  • Working with 2 corn husks at a time, place them on the table with the wide sides overlapping. Put 2 tablespoons of the garbanzo mixture in the center, but do not spread it. Top with 1 teaspoon of the pork mixture. Fold the leaves from all 4 sides toward the center, overlapping to form a rectangle enclosing the filling completely. Tie the tamale with a string.
  • To steam, make a thick layer of corn husks at the bottom of a wide saucepan, and place the tamales over this, covering with more husks. Add 2 cups boiling water, cover tightly with a lid, and bring to a boil, steaming the tamales for 40 minutes over high heat.