Our Global Kitchen: Your Very Own Pouch main content.

Our Global Kitchen: Your Very Own Pouch

Part of the Our Global Kitchen: Food, Nature, Culture exhibition.


  • 100 gr. Lard or shortening, cold
  • 2 ½ cups masa flour (available in latin markets)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups chicken stock or water
  • 2 dozen dried corn husks, soaked in warm water until pliable.
  • filling (refried black beans and cheese, pulled pork, roasted chicken and salsa, shredded turkey in mole sauce, stewed apples with raisins…)

1. Using an electric mixer, beat the lard until fluffy and shiny.

2. Mix the flour, baking powder and salt, and add the mixture to the lard. Beat it until it looks like wet sand

3. Gradually, add UP TO 2 cups of broth to the mixture, as you beat the dough with a wooden spoon. The dough should look like thick frosting.

4. Assemble tamales:

- spread one corn husk in your left palm

- using a spatula smear about half a cup of dough on the center of the husk, taking care to leave one edge clean.\

- place the filling over the dough, about one tablespoon of it.

- fold the smeared edge of the husk to cover dough; then fold the clean edge in, and the tip of the husk up.

- you can just keep it folded with the top open, or you can tie the top with a string.

5. Place tamales in steamer or cook in a double boiler for 1 to 2 hours, depending on the size of the tamales. Make sure the water doesn’t dry out!

6. Tamales are ready when they easily separate from the husk, and the dough looks dry and feels firm.