Tamales are a popular, easy to make Mexican dish. They’re typically filled with pork or chicken and wrapped in corn husks. This simple recipe will provide you with the perfect taste of Mexico without any hassle!
Tamales are a popular Mexican dish and a great addition to any family’s dynamic. They can be made with different ingredients, but these tamale fillings have been proven time and time again to make for an extremely delicious meal!
What are the ingredients in a tamale? The most common ingredients in a tamale is masa, pork or chicken, and corn husks.
Tamales are a traditional Mexican delicacy that are surprisingly simple to prepare. This delectable dish is quite adaptable; you can stuff your tamales with any filling you like, whether you want beef, chicken, pig, or vegetarian tamales. Bonus? They’re gluten-free by nature!
They’re light and moist, with a flavorful, savory corn dough that’s hard to resist, whether you prepare them in an Instant Pot or on the stovetop. You’ll be pleasantly surprised with how easy it is to prepare classic tamales at home. Everything you need to know is right here.
What exactly is a Tamale?
Tamales are a typical Mexican delicacy consisting of a savory dough prepared from lard, maize flour (masa harina), and broth encasing a variety of fillings. The dough is stretched within a corn husk, the filling is added, and then the tamale is wrapped and cooked. The maize husk is not consumed, but it may be used as a platter.
Tamales may be made in a variety of ways, including on the stovetop and in the Instant Pot. You’ll get light, moist tamales no matter which technique you choose.
The term tamale is derived from the Nahuatl word tamalli, which is derived from the Spanish word tamal. Tamales are tasty and easy to prepare at home, and you may modify them to your liking.
Ingredients for Tamale at Home
You’ll need masa harina, a maize flour prepared from nixtamalized corn, lard, broth, and spices to create the tamale dough.
Corn husks are also required for heating the tamales.
Beans and cheese, beef, green chile, chicken mole, or pork may all be used as filler components.
Step-by-Step Instructions for Making Tamales
Have you ever tried making tamales before? It’s not a problem! We’ll show you how to prepare tamales step by step. To begin, soak the corn husks in boiling water for approximately 30 minutes, or until they soften. Set aside your tamale filling when it has been prepared.
In a large mixing basin, combine the masa, baking powder, salt, and cumin. Whisk the lard with two tablespoons of broth in a separate dish with a handheld electric mixer until light and fluffy. Combine the masa and lard mixture and beat until smooth. Slowly add the broth and continue to mix the dough until it is creamy and soft. Using a moist cloth, cover it. This prevents it from drying out and makes it easier to deal with.
Place the corn husks so that the glossy side is facing up. Place 14 cup of dough in the middle of each corn husk’s top half. Cover the dough with cling film and spread it over the top half of the corn husk in a thin 14-inch layer. Fill the middle of the dough with 1 to 2 teaspoons of filling. Fold the long edge of the corn husk over the contents and secure it. Fold the other side so that it overlaps the first. The bottom side should be folded up.
Tamales on the Stovetop: A Step-by-Step Guide
Fill a steamer with a couple glasses of water to prepare tamales on the stovetop. Extra corn husks should be placed in the bottom of the steamer. The tamales will not become wet as a result of this. Place the tamales in the steamer upright, open end up. Cover the husks’ tops with a damp cloth. Cover the saucepan with the lid.
Bring the water to a boil, then lower to a low heat and continue to cook for 45 to 1 hour. The tamales are done when the husk easily and neatly peels away from the tamale. It’s entirely normal if it takes a bit longer than 45 minutes to an hour. Simply keep an eye on them every 5 to 10 minutes.
Tamales in the Instant Pot: A Step-by-Step Guide
To prepare Instant Pot tamales, fill your Instant Pot halfway with water, seal the cover, and cook on high for 25 minutes, then let it naturally release for 10 minutes.
Tamales: How to Eat Them
Are you ready to tuck into your handmade tamales? Remove the maize husk with care — it will be hot, so be careful! Add whatever sauces or toppings you choose, such as cilantro, cheese, salsa, or pico de gallo, then eat the tamale with a fork or your hands.
Tamales with Side Dishes
Serve your tamales with Mexican rice, black or refried beans, cilantro-lime rice, cornbread, pico de gallo, Mexican street corn, avocado salad, or slaw as a side dish.
Advice on Making the Best Traditional Tamales
Because the dough is produced from maize, tamales are inherently gluten-free.
Depending on your tastes, you may use beef, chicken, or veggie broth.
Corn husk thread may be used to bind the tamales’ tops if desired. This is an optional step.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit for baking the tamales. Wrap 2 to 3 pieces of foil around each tamale and bake for 20 minutes, turning halfway through.
Replace the lard with vegetable shortening to create vegetarian or vegan tamales.
Tamales: How to Store Them
Refrigerate the tamales for 5 to 7 days in an airtight container.
Is it Possible to Freeze Homemade Tamales?
Tamales can absolutely be frozen. Keep them frozen for up to 6 months in an airtight container or sealable bag.
Soak the corn husks for 30 minutes in boiling water, or until they soften.
Prepare the tamale filling and put it aside.
Whisk together the masa, baking powder, salt, and cumin in a large mixing basin.
Using a handheld electric mixer, whisk the lard with 2 tablespoons of broth until light and fluffy in a second bowl. Mix the masa mixture with the lard until everything is well mixed.
Slowly pour in the broth. Continue to beat the dough for several minutes, or until it becomes soft and creamy. Using a moist cloth, cover the dough.
Place the corn husks so that the glossy side is facing up. 14 cup of dough should be placed in the middle of each corn husk. Place a sheet of cling film over the dough and spread it into a thin 14-inch-thick layer over the top half of the corn husk.
Fill the middle of the dough with 1 to 2 teaspoons of filling.
Fold over the filling with the long side of the corn husk. Fold the other side so that it overlaps the first. The bottom side should be folded up.
Fill a steamer with a few glasses of water. Extra corn husks should be placed in the bottom of the steamer.
Arrange the tamales in the steamer upright, with the open end facing up. Cover the tops of the open corn husks with a damp cloth. Cover the saucepan with the lid.
Bring the water to a boil, then lower to a low heat and continue to cook for 45 to 1 hour.
The tamales are ready when the husk easily and neatly peels away from the tamale.
After 45 minutes, check on the tamales; they may need more time. If they do, continue to simmer for another 5 to 10 minutes before checking.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What are tamales de Dulce made of?
A: Here is the wikipedia article on tamales de Dulce.
What are Spanish tamales?
A: Spanish tamales are a traditional Mexican dish made of cornhusks or banana leaves that enclose either pork or chicken and seasonings.
How do you make tamales without corn husks?
A: You can use a piece of clean cloth or paper towel to wrap around the mixture before cooking it. The cornhusk should then be removed after everything is done and you will have perfect tamales!
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