6 to 8 dried cornhusks
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/3 cup vegetable shortening
2 tablespoons butter, cut into chunks
1 cup buttermilk
Place cornhusks into a large bowl with boiling water to cover; let soak about 15 minutes. Drain, then pat dry and tear lengthwise into 1 1/2- to 2-inch wide strips.
In each of 11 greased 2 1/2-inch muffin cups, place 2 or 3 cornhusk strips, crossing centers of strips at bottom of each cup so ends fan out around sides. Set aside.
In a large bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and cumin seeds. Cut in shortening and butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add buttermilk to flour mixture; stir just until dry ingredients are evenly moistened.
Spoon about 1/4 cup batter into each lined muffin cup. Bake at 375 degrees F for 25 to 35 minutes, until tops of muffins are golden. Serve hot or warm; remove and discard cornhusks before eating muffins.