Tamales Recipe

Tamales Recipe

Tamales Recipe

Tamales recipe is an ancient Mesoamerican meal that has been enjoyed for generations. Tamales, which originated in Mexico, is composed of masa (a starchy dough based on maize) that is filled with various toppings, wrapped in a corn husk, and steamed until tender. This savory and flexible dish can be enjoyed all year, but it is especially popular for special occasions and holidays. In this post, we will look at the history of tamales, present a step-by-step instruction for making them, and address some frequently asked questions.

A Brief History of Tamales:

Tamales have been a mainstay of Mesoamerican cuisine for thousands of years, dating back as far as 8000 to 5000 BCE. They were first developed by the Aztec and Maya cultures, who required a portable and nutritious meal for warriors, hunters, and travelers. Over time, tamales evolved with various regional adaptations and fillings, making them a beloved dish across Latin America. Today, they are particularly associated with Mexican cuisine and are a must-have during special occasions like Christmas, Day of the Dead, and Mexican Independence Day.

Tamales Recipe

Tamales Recipe

Tamales are a traditional Mesoamerican dish that has been enjoyed for centuries. Originating in Mexico, tamales are made of masa (a starchy dough, usually corn-based) that is filled with various ingredients, wrapped in a corn husk, and steamed until tender.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 6
Calories 260 kcal


  • Large mixing bowls
  • Electric mixer or a hand mixer
  • Large pot with a steamer insert
  • Spatula
  • Tongs
  • Measuring cups and spoons


  • In a large mixing bowl, combine masa harina, baking powder, and salt.Add the lard or shortening and mix until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  • Gradually add the chicken broth and mix until the dough is smooth and spreadable, but not too wet.
  • In a separate bowl, mix the shredded meat (or beans and cheese) with salsa, cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper.Adjust seasoning to taste.
  • Spread out the soaked corn husks on a clean surface.Take a corn husk and spread about 2 tablespoons of masa dough in the center, leaving about an inch of space at the top and bottom.
  • Place a spoonful of the filling in the center of the masa.Fold the sides of the corn husk in towards the center, then fold the bottom up to seal.Repeat until all the masa and filling are used.
  • Place the tamales upright in the steamer insert of the pot.Add water to the pot, making sure it doesn't touch the tamales.
  • Cover the pot with a lid and steam over medium heat for 1.5 to 2 hours, or until the masa is firm and pulls away from the husk easily.


Keyword Tamales Recipe

Similar Recipes:

– Tacos: Soft or crispy tortillas filled with meat, beans, and various toppings.
– Enchiladas: Tortillas rolled around a filling and covered with a chili pepper sauce.
– Empanadas: Pastry dough filled with meat or other ingredients, then baked or fried.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Tamales Recipe:

1. Can you freeze tamales?

Yes, tamales can be frozen. Wrap them separately in plastic wrap or foil and keep them in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

2. How can I reheat tamales?

To reheat tamales, steam them for 15-20 minutes or microwave them for 2-3 minutes wrapped in a moist paper towel.

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3. May I substitute a different type of meat or filling?

Absolutely! Tamales can be filled with a wide range of ingredients, including meats, cheeses, veggies, and even sweet fillings.

4. Do I need to use fat in the masa?

No, you can replace the lard with vegetable shortening or even butter for a different flavor.

5. Are the tamales gluten-free?

Yes, traditional tamales made using masa harina are gluten-free.

6. How can I know when tamales are finished cooking?

Tamales are done when the masa is firm and easily separated from the corn husk.

7. Can I cook tamales without cornhusks?

If you can’t obtain corn husks, try parchment paper or banana leaves instead.

8. How long will handmade tamales last?

Tamales can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5-7 days. They can be frozen for up to 6 months.

9. Can I prepare tamales ahead of time?

Yes, the tamales can be prepared and assembled ahead of time, then frozen before steaming. When you’re ready to eat, steam them right from the freezer.

10. What do I serve with tamales?

Tamales are commonly served with sides such as rice.


Ready to try making your own tamales? Gather your ingredients and follow this step-by-step guide to create a delicious and authentic Mexican dish that will impress your family and friends. Don’t forget to share your tamales-making experience with us by leaving a comment below!

YouTube Video Credits:
Simply Mamá Cooks

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