by on December 25, 2014 » Add the first comment.
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Enough for 24 small tamales.


  • 200 gm lard, bacon grease, chicken fat, etc
    – make up weight (if necessary) using butter and Crisco
  • 400 gm masa harina (corn meal flour) – Maseca is a popular brand
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • For Cajun Flavor Tamales, add the next five ingredients
  • 2 TBL chili powder or cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
    – Use broth to thin as described below
  • Chicken broth (as needed) see notes in Step by Step
  • Corn husk leaves
  • Whatever filling you are planning to use – See below


  1. Pour boiling water over corn husk leaves
  2. Weigh down sheets using a heavy glass bowl
  3. Let soak 1 hour
  4. Prepare masa dough – Mix masa harina with the ingredients to create a crumbly texture
  5. Drizzle in broth or reserved liquid to make a moist play dough consistency
  6. Let rest about 5 minutes
  7. Assemble with moist hands
  8. 1 husk . Pat dry – Smaller end toward you
  9. 2 TBL masa on husk . Flatten with fingers
    – Leave 1/3 unfilled hear the pointey end
    – Leave a small border on one side and a wide border on the other side
  10. Add 2 TBL meat filling
  11. Wrap masa around filling
  12. Roll and fold end to contain
  13. Tie with string or strip of husk
    – I like to use red string for red meat, white string for white meat, yellow string for cheese, and green string for green chilie and veggie
  14. Line your basket with husks
  15. Lie tamales in the steamer
  16. Steam 2 hours – Check water level every 30 minutes
  17. Wrap in newspaper to keep hot
  18. Cool and freeze in plastic wrap to preserve
    When ready to serve….
  19. Thaw and steam for 30 minutes or microwave if time is short


  • Add a penny to the bottom of your steamer water.
  • If the water evaporates, the penny starts to rattle

Prepare your filling ahead of time. 

Mix 4 oz shredded meat with 2 TBL green chilies, 2 TBL shredded cheese, 1 TBL minced garlic, 1/4 C minced onion, and a splash of broth

Above is a movie that gives you some good tips and techniques.

Find more like this: Dinners, Lunches, World Cuisine

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