Tamales - need a good recipe

Never made them. I hear it’s “so hard” but I ain’t scared. I need a kick-ass recipe tho. Unfortunately, all my friends Mexican grandma’s “don’t measure, I just throw stuff in.” sigh. Even though I do the same with my specialty dishes. :smile:
Oh yeah, corn masa pls, none of that slimey white banana shit.

Can you get fresh masa or are you looking for a recipe with masa harina?

I have never seen a tamale made with banana instead of masa??? Where do they do that?

I’d expect it might be a Yucatan or Veracruz type dish (with platanos). In any event, I do like my homemade tamales (not made my me, no recipe knowledge) steamed in banana leaves instead of corn husks - of course, made by someone from the Veracruz region.

My Salvadorean neighbor makes Salvadorean style tamales in banana leaves also, but they still use masa as the outer part.

I’ve not heard they were hard to make. Just very tedious, takes a long time and preferable to have it be a group project. A non-Mexican friend of mine made them once and said “never again; too much work.”

I didn’t find them hard to make. I think what makes them tedious is that Mexicans tend to make huge quantities.


That’s what I’ve understood also.

I don’t know. But the recipes are calling for lard. I don’t know about that. I know it will be delish but damn.

Can you get fresh masa or are you looking for a recipe with masa harina?

Lard is traditional and delicious. You want natural lard, not the gross hydrogenated stuff. I’d braise a pork shoulder and use some of the fat it throws off. You only need a few ounces for a pound of masa.

You can use butter, that’s also delicious.

What don’t you know about it? I can’t imagine a lot of Mexican things without lard. Bob fries our tortillas in it.

This recipe looks about right to me:

I’ve never made them but this looks like a pretty straightforward recipe.


I think that’s a double portion of the recipe I linked to.

It would help if I paid more attention :slight_smile: Travel day.

I don’t know what kind of masa I could get…fresh masa or masa harina. i’ll look into it.

If you have Mexican markets around, you can almost certainly get fresh masa. Often they have two kinds, “masa para tortillas,” which is plain, and “masa preparada” or “masa para tamales,” which is already mixed with lard etc., ready to fill your corn husks or banana leaves. The latter may be a coarser grind.