What Are Corundas?
Corundas are sort of a Mexican dumpling, made with cornmeal, lard, water, salt, and baking powder. They are then wrapped in corn husks and steamed. Unlike tamales, they do not usually have a filling, so sour cream or salsa provides the finishing touch.
I wanted these corundas to stand out. So, I substituted chicken broth for the water, used bacon fat instead of lard, and added diced jalapenos to the batter. The result is a slightly spicy corunda, that becomes divine when combined with the fat of the sour cream.
This recipe is part of my ultimate dumpling guide project. For other dumplings I’ve made personally from around the world, check out my siomay recipe (mackerel fish steamed dumplings from Indonesia). Or, for something deep fried, try my gulha (fried tuna dumplings from the Maldives).
If you don’t have anything to steam with, there’s plenty of options out there.
How to Make Corundas
This recipe can be easily multiplied, depending on how many people you want to feed. As a main course, I think this would feed 2 people. For an appetizer, this recipe would feed 4. Of course, it might be hard to get a lot of bacon grease, so you can substitute lard for that just fine.
First, pour 1 cup of cornmeal into a large mixing bowl. No need to sift it. Add 1/2 cup of bacon grease and stir. It’s fine if it is still congealed, that is probably preferable.
Next, add the rest of the ingredients. 5/8 cup of chicken broth (or 1/2 cup if you feel lazy), 2 diced jalapenos, 2 cloves of minced garlic, 1/2 tablespoon of baking powder, 1 tsp of cumin, and salt to taste. Mix thoroughly into a homogeneous paste.
The Folding Process
Folding these will be a pain if you are making them for a large crowd, so get an unsuspecting family member to help you. Ideally, corundas should be triangles, but whatever shape they come out as will be delicious.
If you are using dried corn husks, soak them in water for several minutes so they become pliable again. Then, put one corn husk on your plate. Put 2 tablespoons of batter inside, in a triangular shape.
Next, I folded the two ends down, like the first step in making a paper airplane. Then, I flipped the corunda and folded the husk back, finishing my triangle. Last, I wrapped a thin strip of corn husk around the package and tied a knot so it won’t come undone while steaming. You can use a string if you prefer.
Continue this until you run out of corundas batter, or out of corn husks. If using a bamboo steamer, I recommend putting down a layer of corn husks on the bottom. This will help with cleanup later if any of the batter spills. Try and lean the triangles against each other in the steamer to fit the max number in.
This dish is theoretically gluten free, check the packaging of you cornmeal to make sure it isn’t processed in a facility that also does flour. There is bacon grease in this recipe, but you could try substituting for butter if you want to make a vegetarian version. Here’s a vegetarian taco recipe if you need that!
- 1 bamboo steamer
- 1 large mixing bowl
- 1 cup cornmeal
- ½ cup bacon grease
- 5/8 cup chicken broth
- ½ tbsp baking powder
- 2 jalapenos finely diced
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tsp cumin
- sour cream
- 20 corn husks
- Combine cornmeal, bacon grease, baking powder, chicken broth, cumin, garlic, salt, and jalapenos in a large mixing bowl. Stir until thoroughly combined.
- Put a corn husk on a plate or flat surface. Put 2 tablespoons of batter in the corn husk, in the shape of a triangle.
- Close the corn husk so that it stays in a triangular shape and locks the batter in.
- Tie a string or long strip of corn husk around the triangle, so that it doesn't open during steaming. Place in the steaming basket and repeat until you are out of batter.
- Steam for 1 hour. Serve the corundas with sour cream and red salsa.