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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Mexican / Tex-Mex / Southwest United States / In Desperate Need of Tamale Help!
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    In Desperate Need of Tamale Help!

    Thu Aug 08, 2013 8:47 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    Hi all -

    I've tried TWICE now to make tamales and have yielded the same result: crumbly tamales!

    Both times I made the tamales I beat the lard first very well, I beat the dough well and a little ball of dough DID float in a glass of water.

    This time, I used a lard/masa harina ratio of 1/2 cup lard for every 2 cups masa harina (along with added broth). I checked the tamales every 15 minutes to see if they were cooked, and from 15 minutes onward the dough crumbled upon opening the corn husk. There was no real "sticking" to speak of, just crumble. They taste (and look) powdery! Even after 60 minutes, same thing. Powder, crumble.

    Has anyone else had this happen before? How did you correct it? Am I cooking too long? Not long enough? Is my dough the issue? Would love some insight - I'm desperate!
    Fri Aug 09, 2013 1:10 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    Anyone? PLEASE HELP!
    Fri Aug 09, 2013 6:22 pm
    Forum Host
    I've never made them but I'll try to find someone who has. In the meantime, perhaps one of these will help you.
    Fri Aug 09, 2013 9:11 pm
    Forum Host
    I have only assisted in making them once many years ago but as I recall the dough was very sticky when we spread it in the husk and we only steamed the tamales for about 15 minutes.
    Sat Aug 10, 2013 7:22 am
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    Thank you both for your help. I really appreciate it. It means a lot to me to be able to do this correctly and I just can't seem to get it.

    It's so weird that recipes vary so much on cooking time - between 15 minutes to 3 hours. I'm thinking next time I'll try 10-15 minutes, as last time at the 15 min mark they were already crumbly and dry.
    Sat Aug 10, 2013 11:53 am Groupie
    I'm here to tell you you want the 10-15 method. Your dough-you want it sticky or it will be super dry and icky.

    Something I do because my husband likes them jazzed up-I add a small can of diced green chilies to the liquid measurement. Any extra fluid needed gets sucked out of the diced chilies-makes them a little different but tasty all the same.

    Good luck and zmail me if you have any questions.
    Thu Aug 15, 2013 7:14 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    i am married to a beautiful mexican woman. we make tamales on the holidays. The key to making tamales is steaming them. donot check on them every 15 minutes. you are letting the steam out, the steam helps make them moist. also soak your husk for 30 minutes in water before making your tamales. your recipe sounds good. also you donot have to beat the lard. just mix it real good with the masa. lay down layers of wet husk on the bottom of your large pot. put a ceramic bowl upside down on them. now stack your tamales on the side of the bowl and work your way up with the rest fo them/ pour 1-2 cups of water on the bottom. and close lid. and steam them for approx. 1 hour-1.30min.
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