Generations of Flavor: My Grandmother’s Timeless Tamales Recipe 🌽🍲

Step into the heart of tradition with this cherished recipe for my grandmother’s tamales. Passed down through generations, these tamales are more than a dish; they are a culinary journey filled with love and heritage. In this guide, we’ll unravel the secrets behind my grandmother’s timeless tamales, ensuring that you can recreate this authentic and soul-warming experience in your own kitchen.


For the Tamale Dough (Masa):

  • 2 cups masa harina (corn masa mix)
  • 1 1/3 cups chicken broth (warm)
  • 2/3 cup lard or vegetable shortening
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Corn husks, soaked in warm water

For the Filling:

  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken or pork
  • 1 cup red or green salsa (homemade or store-bought)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions :

1. Prepare the Corn Husks:

  • Soak the corn husks in warm water for at least 30 minutes or until they are pliable. Pat them dry before using.

2. Make the Tamale Dough (Masa):

  • In a large bowl, beat the lard or vegetable shortening until fluffy. In a separate bowl, combine masa harina, baking powder, and salt.
  • Gradually add the masa harina mixture to the beaten lard, alternating with the warm chicken broth. Mix until you achieve a soft, spreadable consistency. The dough should hold its shape.

3. Prepare the Filling:

  • In a mixing bowl, combine the shredded cooked chicken or pork with salsa, ground cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper. Adjust the seasonings to taste.

4. Assemble the Tamales:

  • Take a soaked corn husk and spread a thin layer of the prepared tamale dough over the center, leaving space at the edges.
  • Spoon a portion of the filling down the center of the masa.
  • Fold the sides of the corn husk toward the center, enclosing the filling, and fold the bottom and top edges to seal the tamale. Tie with a thin strip of corn husk if needed.

5. Steam the Tamales:

  • Arrange the tamales upright in a steamer basket, making sure they are packed tightly to prevent unraveling during steaming.
  • Steam the tamales over simmering water for about 1.5 to 2 hours or until the masa is cooked and easily separates from the husk.

6. Serve and Enjoy:

  • Allow the tamales to cool slightly before serving. Serve them warm with your favorite salsa or garnishes.

My grandmother’s tamale recipe exemplifies the artistry of Mexican cuisine. Wrapped in corn husks and filled with seasoned meat, these tamales exemplify family, tradition, and a passion for delicious food. You’re not just tasting a meal when you savor each bite; you’re experiencing the legacy of generations. Share these tamales with family and friends to spread the warmth of tradition that my grandmother so generously bestowed upon us.🌽🍲