How to Make Tamales

Tamales aren't difficult to prepare, and the filling is limited only by your imagination and preference.

Tamale Ingredients

Tamale Ingredients

Look for specific ingredients at local supermarkets and Latin markets.

  • Masa harina: This flour is made from sun-dried corn kernels cooked in limewater, and then ground.
  • Lard: You'll find lard, made from rendered pork fat, in refrigerated cases or the frozen foods section of some specialty markets. Our recipe for Basic Masa Dough uses just a touch of lard to bind and flavor the dough. If you can't find lard, you can use an equal amount of vegetable shortening.
  • Dried corn husks: Used to wrap tamales and keep them moist while cooking, corn husks are not eaten. Other traditional wrappers include banana and plantain leaves.

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