How To Make Salvadoran Tamales

Salvadoran Tamales is one of the specialities of El Salvador. It is popular throughout the South American nation.

If you are throwing a party or simply want to treat your family to something special, cooking and serving Salvadoran tamales will be definitely be worth the effort and time.

Prep time: 5 hours
Cook time: 30 min
Total time: 5 hours and 30 min
Yield: 6 servings
Utensils: Large pot, Food processor, Large bowl, Paper towels, 2 spoons, String & Steamer

Corn husks: 12 to 15
Masa harina (fine corn flour): 2 cups
Lard: 1/4 cup
Softened butter: 1/4 cup
Baking powder: 2 tsp
Warm water: 1 cup
Cooked, shredded meat: 1 ¼ lbs
Salt: 2 tsp
Ears of corn on the cob: 2 to 3
Milk or cream, for garnish


  • 1

    Fill the large pot with water and bring it to boil on a stove. Once it boils, take it off the stove and place the 12 to 15 corn husks inside in. Leave them in there to soak for around 30 minutes.

  • 2

    Pour ¼ cup of lard and ¼ cup of softened butter into a food processor. Add 2 teaspoons of baking powder in it and blend until the mixture turns light and airy.

  • 3

    Now start slicing the corn on the cob until you have around 2 full cups of kernels. Transfer the kernels and their juice to the mixture in the food processor and blend until it has an oat-meal like consistency. Allow some large chunks to remain in the mixture if you want.

  • 4

    Pour the two cups of masa harina (fine corn flour) and warm water in a large bowl and add 2 teaspoons of salt to it. Keep kneading the mixture until it forms into flexible dough.

  • 5

    Add the dough to the mixture in the food processor in small quantities. Pulse the mixture until it becomes smooth, save for some large chunks.

  • 6

    Now drain the corn husks from the mixture and use the paper towels to wipe them dry.

  • 7

    Drop nearly ¼ cup of dough into the centre of each husk after setting them out and then put a spoonful of cooked, shredded meat in its middle. Fold the dough over to cover the meat so that it no longer remains visible.

  • 8

    Cover the dough with the sides of the hush, while inserting the top end inside and folding the bottom end over. Tie the closed package with a string.

  • 9

    Now transfer the tamales to a food steamer and steam them for 30 to 40 minutes.

  • 10

    After removing the tamales from the food steamer, top them with either cream or milk.

  • 11

    Serve them while they are still hot.

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