Paches de Guatemala (Guatemala Potato Tamales)

Makes 8 tamales


2 medium tomatoes, chopped
2 green onions, chopped fine
4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 red bell pepper, chopped fine
1 jalapeño, deseeded and chopped fine
1 cup water
6 tablespoons lard or margarine
1 pound potatoes, cooked and mashed
2 cups masa harina
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon achiote powder, dissolved in 2 tablespoons hot water
Corn husks or banana leafs
Lemon wedges


In a medium sauce pan on high heat, add tomatoes, green onions, garlic, red bell pepper, jalapeño and water and cook, about 5-8 minutes until soft. Transfer to a blender, season with salt and process until smooth. Strain mixture through a fine mesh sieve (sauce should be very smooth) and set aside. In a large mixing bowl combine lard, cooked and mashed potatoes, masa harina, salt, allspice, black pepper, and dissolved achiote powder, and mix well. Add the tomato pepper sauce and mix until incorporated well. In the center of each banana leaf or corn husk, place about ½ cup of the potato masa mixture. To make tamales, fold over the banana leaf or corn husk like you are folding a present and tie the package with a corn husk tie, a banana leaf tie, or kitchen twine.

Place the wrapped tamales in a steamer and cover the top of the tamales with a kitchen towel (to prevent drips and tamales from getting soggy). Steam tamales on medium heat for about 30-45 minutes or until soft and cooked through. Serve with lots of fresh lemon wedges.