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How to Make Tamales de Frijol

Author Vianney Rodriguez


  • Ingredients
  • Refried beans 10-12 cups
  • For Corn Husks:
  • 1 package dried corn husks
  • For Red Chile Sauce:
  • 5 dried ancho chiles stems and seeds removed
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 cups reserved water from boiling chiles
  • 2 tablespoons pork lard
  • For Masa:
  • 4 cups masa
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 1/4 cups lard
  • 2 1/2 to 3 cups broth chicken or beef
  • 1/4 cups red chile sauce


  1. Instructions
  2. For Corn Husks:
  3. Soak dried corn husks in a bowl of hot water, use a molcajete to keep them submerged for at least 2 hours.
  4. When ready to assemble tamales, drain water from corn husks.
  5. For Red Chile Sauce:
  6. In a large saucepan, place chiles and cover with water.
  7. Boil until softened, about 10 minutes.
  8. Drain, reserve the water.
  9. Place the chiles, garlic cloves, ground cumin, plus 2 cups reserved water into a blender.
  10. Blend until smooth.
  11. Heat lard in a saucepan over medium-high heat, add chile sauce, reduce heat to low and cook over low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  12. Remove from heat, reserve chile sauce for masa.
  13. For Masa:
  14. Mix masa, salt, baking powder, lard and broth until the batter is light and fluffy. Add additional broth if needed.
  15. Add red chile sauce, mix well.
  16. To Assemble Tamales:
  17. Using a spoon, spread masa over corn husk.
  18. Add refried beans, about 1 spoon-full, fold and add to steamer filled with 2-3 inches of water.
  19. Cover, bring to a boil.
  20. Reduce heat, simmer for 2-2 1/2 hours, adding additional water if necessary.
  21. Tamales are ready when they easily remove from the husk.
  22. Allow tamales to stand for 10-15 minutes, serve warm.