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How to Make Tamales at Home

The tamale is a dish prepared with corn. The typical types of tamales are mole, green, rajas with cheese, and sweet; and they vary according to the regions of Mexico they’re made in.

5-Minute Crafts is showing you how to prepare some of these delicious tamales.

1. Traditional tamales

Ingredients for the dough

  • 8 cups of nixtamalized corn
  • 7 oz of melted pork lard
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 cup of chicken or beef broth

Dough preparation

1. In a bowl, pour the lard and stir it with a spatula.

2. Stir in the nixtamalized corn, salt, and baking powder.

3. Add the broth slowly.

4. Continue mixing until the dough is free of lumps.

How to prepare the tamale

1. Fill a pot with water and soak the tamale leaves for 20 minutes, remove them, and dry.

2. Prepare the corresponding stew.

3. Place in an extended corn husk and add 2 tablespoons of the previously prepared dough.

4. Add 2 tablespoons of the stew, close the husk, and tie the tamale.

5. Place the steamer with water over high heat. Once it’s hot, place the tamales in the steamer for the time required for each one. For the green type with chicken, 45 minutes to 1 hour; for the rajas with cheese, 30 minutes, and for the red mole, 45 minutes.

Green sauce with chicken

Ingredients:

  • 1 chicken breast
  • 2 cups of green tomato
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 6 serrano chiles
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 tsp of pepper
  • 1 tsp of salt

Instructions

1. In a skillet, place the tomatoes, garlic, chiles, and onion until cooked through.

2. In a blender, pour the water and the previous stew, along with salt and pepper, then blend everything for about one minute.

3. Cook and shred the chicken.

Rajas with cheese

Ingredients:

  • 1 chopped onion
  • 4 tbsp of lard
  • 2 cups of poblano peppers (deveined, roasted, and sliced)
  • 2 cups of Chihuahua cheese in strips
  • 2 cups of green tomatoes
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • Cilantro to taste
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

1. Roast the chiles. When they’re cooked, turn them out and cut them into julienne strips.

2. Place a frying pan over medium heat with the butter and fry the onion and garlic.

3. Add the rajas to the pan.

Red mole

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups of solid pork meat
  • 8 guajillo chiles
  • 2 ancho chiles
  • 3 green tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ¼ tsp of cinnamon
  • ½ tsp of ground white pepper
  • Chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp of oil
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

1. In a pot of boiling water, add the pork, salt, garlic, and onion. When it’s cooked, let it cool and then shred it.

2. Brown the previously deveined chiles in a frying pan with the oil.

3. In a blender, add the chiles, tomatoes, garlic, pepper, cloves, cinnamon, and salt, followed by the broth. Blend until the ingredients are mixed.

4. Place a skillet over medium heat and add the mixture obtained from the blender and incorporate the shredded pork. Let it cook for 10 minutes.

2. Sweet tamales

Ingredients:

  • 1½ cups of corn flour
  • ½ cup of unsalted butter
  • ¼ tsp of baking powder
  • 6 tbsp of sugar
  • 2 tbsp of raisins
  • 1½ cups of warm water
  • 6 drops of red food coloring
  • 10 corn husks

Instructions

1. Place the butter and sugar in a bowl and mix everything to a creamy texture.

2. Mix the corn flour, baking powder, and raisins. Gradually add the drops of food coloring and continue mixing until it has a uniform color.

3. Incorporate the first mixture with the dough and knead until all the ingredients are well combined.

4. In the prepared corn husks, place ⅓ cup of the masa, wrap it, and cook for 1.25 hours.

3. Oaxacan mole tamales

Ingredients:

  • 1 cooked and shredded chicken breast
  • 4 cups of tortilla dough
  • 3 cups of chicken broth
  • 2 cups of lard
  • 1.27 cups of black mole (paste)
  • 3 roasted plantain leaves (cut into rectangles)

Instructions

1. Whisk the lard in a bowl, then add the tortilla dough and gradually add the broth while continuing to whisk.

2. In a blender, pour the remaining 2 cups of broth and the mole. Blend it all together.

3. In a saucepan, place the mix together with the shredded chicken and let it cook for 20 minutes.

4. Place down a banana leaf and pour 4 tablespoons of the prepared dough inside along with the chicken mole mixture. Close the husk and cook for approximately 1.5 hours.

4. Corn tamales

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup of butter
  • 6 cups of tender corn kernels
  • 4 tbsp of lard
  • 2 tbsp of sugar
  • 1 tbsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • 1 package of corn husks
  • Sour cream (optional)

Instructions

1. Place the corn kernels in a blender and blend for 2 minutes.

2. In a bowl, add the lard, butter, salt, sugar, and baking powder, then mix until all the ingredients are well incorporated.

3. On the corn husk, which was previously soaked in hot water, place 2 tablespoons of the mixture obtained, wrap it, and cook in the steamer for approximately 1 to 1.25 hours.

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