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