Guatemalan food culture is based on a mixture of Spanish and Mayan cuisine. It’s national dish appeared to be a salad, so I immediately discounted it. I stumbled across tamales – little steamed parcels which seemed close to dumplings, so decided to do more research.

To make my tamales I beat lard with masa harina and added chicken stock to make a dough. I then spread the dough onto banana leaves which I had in the freezer already from a previous visit to Manchester’s China Town. Tamales in Mexico use corn husks but plantain or banana leaves are used in Guatemala.On top of the dough I popped a little pile of grated cheese, some fried chicken breast, pepper and onion which I’d seasoned with some fajita-style seasoning we have. I then folded up the dough to seal the chicken inside and wrapped up the banana leaves. They were steamed in baskets for an hour.

I enjoyed making these and I can see why people like them. I’ve never been a fan of the taste of corn, so think I’d like them better with an alternative starch, but they are still pretty nice! I like the texture particularly. Good street-style food.