Cuisine Mexican
Servings 12 Tamales
Author Mely Martinez - México in my kitchen



  • 2/3 cups of Lard*
  • 2 cups corn flour for Tamales
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 3/4 cup warm chicken broth
  • Salt to taste


  • 3 Poblano Peppers
  • 1 Queso fresco or Queso Ranchero
  • 1 1/4 cup of Salsa**
  • 16 Corn Husks plus extra to tie the tamales and for the steaming pot.


  • Extra salsa and Mexican Cream to drizzle your tamales.


  1. Roast the Poblano peppers, either in your broiler or on a stovetop flame. Place inside a plastic bag for 3 minutes to steam.
  2. Gently remove skins and seeds from the Poblanos, with your hands then cut them into strips.
  3. Place corn husks in a large stock pot filled with hot water to soften. Once softened, drain them and set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, beat the lard until it’s full, about 6 minutes. After beating the lard, add the cornflour for tamales along with the baking powder. Mix well using a spatula.

  5. Pour the warm chicken broth and mix well until you form a soft dough. Keep mixing for about 5-6 minutes. The dough has to be soft and fluffy. Season with salt.
  6. Chop the Queso Fresco (cheese) into 1-inch pieces and place in a bowl.
  7. Gather the dough, salsa, cheese, peppers strips, and corn husks to assemble the tamales. Place a steamer in a large stock pot or line with aluminum foil at the bottom. Cover the rack with corn husks. Fill with hot water just below the steamer rack. Place a small coin at the bottom of the pot, that way if the pot needs more water, the coin will rattle and make noise. When adding more water to the pot, make sure to add it as close to the wall of the pot as possible.
  8. To form the tamales, using a large spoon, spread about 3 tablespoons of corn dough. Then add 1 tablespoon of salsa. Top with some pieces of Queso Fresco and Poblano Peppers strips.
  9. Fold the right side of the corn husk to the center of the Tamal and do the same with the left side. Fold over the narrow end of the husk towards the center and tie the tamal using a thin strip of corn husk. Repeat this process to from all the tamales.
  10. Place the tamales inside the already-prepared steamer and cook for 60 to 65 minutes. Check steamer occasionally and add hot water as needed.

  11. To check if the tamales are ready, remove one using kitchen tongs and place on a plate. Let it rest for 5 minutes. If the husk doesn’t stick to the tamal when removed, then your tamales are ready.

  12. Serve with red or green salsa.

Recipe Notes

* I’ve made these tamales using vegetable oil instead of lard, and they still come out really great. Just make sure your broth is full of flavor since the lard gives lots of flavor to the dough and without it, it’ll taste plain.

** You can also use Salsa Verde. Make extra salsa for serving along with the tamales when ready.