Mexican tamales and characteristics of their fillings

Mexican Tamales and characteristics of their fillings.

Mexican tamales and characteristics of their fillings
Mexican tamales. Image: Public domain

In the "cenadurías" of the Aguascalientes capital they eat the classic corn tamales on the cob and other lesser-known ones: bean with rajas, pineapple with rompope, pinion with biznaga and peanut.

In Baja California, they make tuna tamales and other calls from Güemes, which contain pork and chicken meats, olives, and raisins

In Coahuila and above all because of the course of the lagoon, they usually use small, cob-shaped tamales that are barely larger than thumbs. Sometimes they are stuffed with meat seasoned with cumin, thyme, and dried chili sauce, or crushed or cheese with sauce; they have a lot of butter and it is often more the amount of filling than the same mass of corn. They also make rice flour and sweets, filled with pear, quince, or cinnamon.

There are some royal tamales in Colima that also have, in addition to their traditional dough and sauce, rice and pork ribs; likewise, there are ash tamales with beans

In Chiapas, there is an incredible variety of tamales due to the number of different regions that make up the state. On the coast they make the so-called cambray tamales, in banana leaf, stuffed with pork, chopped boiled egg, chili pepper slices, raisins, olives, carrots, and red mole based on mulato chiles, toasted and ground width and pasilla. The famous tamales de chipilín (a papilonácea herb) and of chipilín with shrimps are also made, as well as the tamal de toro pinto, based on still fresh beans, or the tamal de Santa María, of cooked and ground beans and wrapped in leaves of Santa María, or tamales anointed, in a banana leaf, whose name refers to the way they are made.

In the center of the state, they made tamales of sesame seeds with almonds and oregano and pepper. In the indigenous areas, the nolochis, made with beans and corn, and the corn tamales, called pictes, are used.

In Chihuahua stand out the rich pork head tamales with oregano and red chile, of course with dough and in husk leaves. They also make them small, as in Coahuila. Others are spinach

In Mexico City, tamales in corn husk stand out: green tomato sauce with serrano pepper and pork; of poblano mole with chicken; of rajas with cheese and of sweet dough with pineapple or painted rose, with raisins.

Classics of this capital are tamale cakes called guajolotas, which are made by placing a tamale inside a bolillo or telera. Red and green tamales are also used, steamed in a corn husk and fried in lard when eaten.

In Durango, as in most of the northern states, small tamales are made, in husk leaves. There they use red puya peppers.

In Guanajuato, they make tamal de muerto, made with blue corn. There are also tart tamales, with red sauce. Almost all the Bajío elaborate the so-called ash tamales, name because they boil the corn in water with ash and sometimes they wrap them in reed leaves.

Taxco, in Guerrero, offers some tamales of beans that, once in the dish, are covered with green molasses of pipián. They also make chicken tamales with green sauce and pumpkin tamales in sweet and curd. In Costa Chica, Guerrero made tamales sweet pink, dyed with the famous grana cochineal.

In Hidalgo you can mark two large areas: the mining region of Pachuca and its surroundings, with tamales in a corn husk with masa seasoned with anise, even in those of chile; and the Huasteca, with banana leaf tamales and, above all, the gigantic zacahuiles, up to one meter long and forty centimeters wide, cooked as the barbecue in underground form or in an oven made of stone or adobe, and which reach contain up to whole pork: once prepared the mass of corn that is not ground fine, but speckled in small granules, is placed in papatla leaves inside a container made on purpose and is filled with the meat in pieces previously marinated with chilies dried red, and so gets into the earth oven dug in the ground.

In Morelos they make tamales watery and sifted, by the zone of the skirts of the volcano; towards Tepoztlán there are some colorful flowers. Others are chaya leaf with pumpkin seed and towards Tequesquitengo new varieties of tamales have been developed in recent years, possibly due to tourist pressure. They are prepared without mass and three types stand out: fish catfish, onion, and nopales.

In Nayarit, there is a kind of casserole tamale called corn tamales soup.

In Nuevo León, tamalillos made with pork head stewed with chili, garlic, and cumin are very tasty. Also nuts with piloncillo.

The Oaxaca tamale par excellence, is the corn dough and filled with black mole based on ancho peppers, mulato, and chilhuacle, with pork and wrapped in banana leaf.

In Puebla, extraordinary for its culinary wealth, they usually eat, in addition to the tamales of the traditional mole poblano, tamales de ayocote, that big bean, purple or brown.

In Huejotzingo they make tamales of dough with fresh cheese and epazote; They are also made of ground beans with chili veins and an avocado leaf, and they also have tamales pulacles, with zucchini, beans, and sesame seeds.

In Queretaro, they make Canarian tamales with raisins.

In Sonora, they make sweet tamales of beans with raisins. They prepare tamales of ash and similar to the Sinaloan nixcocos they have some that they call nejos. There are tamales of verdolagas, chickpea, and yorimuni beans. They make nacatamales of pork, olives, and raisins.

In Tabasco, generally, they use as a wrap the banana leaf that almost by definition is tabasqueño to make pork head tamales, chipilín, dough with turkey meat, and prediluvian pejelagarto.

A type of tamale has the mass stirred with chili peppers and achiote, to give it flavor and color; cumin and pork are added. There are also chanchamitos, small and spherical; the maneas, of shredded meat; the mones or tamales of fish; the tamales of chaya, and those of beans with pork rinds.

Veracruz provides a rainbow of tamales, from the Huastecan zacahuiles that were already seen to tamales of sweet corn with pork and dried chili sauce, from the center of the state.

In Tuxpan they make them similar, but with moles and chicken, and they call them chamitles. In Papantla there is a watery zacahuil served with a ladle and accompanied with pulacles, bean tamales with pumpkin; others similar are called cuitones

In Zacatecas, we find tamales de Bufa, in which the dough is accompanied by pork, cumin, and wide chili sauce.

Characteristics of the filling for tamales

Any available stew will suffice on the filling, although pork, chicken, and turkey are generally used; but there are also meats such as fish, iguana, etc., and it is only necessary that they be well cooked and seasoned with enough salt, otherwise, the tamales would be discarded, even if they were well made.

Types of tamales

Common tamales or sowings of common corn

The corn is prepared in a tub, it is dehulled, it is washed and it is completely milled the same as to make atole.

Well, the dough is passed through a napkin or abate, and after sifting nine and a half ounces of white sugar and one pound of lard are mixed with the corresponding fine salt and a little anise, moistening the dough with warm water. It is then beaten well, and in sheets of corn washed, soaked, drained, and dried, the quantities that may be contained in the dough are poured, wrapped and covered with them, and folded in half, the tamales have been formed.

Then a pot of sufficient capacity will be placed on the fire, pouring very little water into it, and a little salt or silver coin can be put into this water to kill the boil; above it will form a grid of wands of shingles and the tamales will be arranged on top so that the water does not reach them, and they are only steamed, covering the mouth of the pot with a casserole of its size and a canvas that is tied all right.

When the dough is removed from the leaf, it is a sign that it is cooked, and then the 41 tamales are made, which are separated from the fire and served hot, alone or with Atole de Leche.

In this way, they are made of chili, spice and other stuff, stuffing them with the stews you want, well seasoned. and the regular consistency, with the only difference that they are not filled with any sweet product, do not add sugar but salt to the dough before cooking it.

Cacahuatzentli corn sifted tamales

The nixtamal is made or three pounds of cacahuatzentli corn is cooked the same as for the currents: then it is washed well, dried, and dried in the sun.

When it is well dried it is ground, and then it is hoisted by a slender abbot; to the sifted add three pounds or a little more butter and a little warm water, beat this dough with the necessary salt, or if you wanted to make sweet, with sugar, beat until it is consistent and this is the point, what will be known by forming a ball, which, thrown into the water, supernates.

Then the tamales will be formed in the corn leaves, taking care that they have drained well the water in which they were soaked, and already made they are cooked.

If you do not want to make sweet, do not add sugar to the dough, but season well and fill the tamales with the stews that you want meat or fish, chili, or spices. If they are sweet, they can be filled with cooked egg yolks, ground sugar, pine nuts, citron, cinnamon, and sesame seeds.

Tamales of cacahuatzentli corn and egg

They are mixed to make the dough, three pounds of corn cacahuatzentli, cooked and sifted like the previous ones, half a pound of melted butter, eight egg yolks, the necessary sugar, depending on whether they are more or less sweet, and a little warm water.

Leave this dough neither watered nor thick, and beat until it foams. Cinnamon, raisins, almonds, pine nuts, walnut pieces, and sesame seeds are added to the tamales; they form and cook the same as the others.

Mourning sowed tamales with milk rice

They are arranged the same as the previous recipes, with the difference that the cacahuatzentli corn must be black, and that they are filled with rice with milk, prepared in an ordinary way, although somewhat more loaded with sweet.

Tamales without sifting or chuchulucos

The word chuchulucos comes from the Mexican vocabulary chocholoqui, this one of chochos, that means man muzzle, wild or wild, or cones, foolish man, reckless, or coarse thing, coarse and ordinary.

But although the cones are not as delicate as the sifted, they do not stop being tasty and good food. They are made the same as those of the previous articles, with the only difference of not sifting the mass.

Tamales of banana leaves

Well mashed the dough, ready as the other tamales, is cooked with a lot of butter and then moves away to cool.

If you want the spoon tamales, you leave the dough looser, or for that matter, when it should be thicker, when you form it, you put the chili fried and soft, with pork meat and pork jowl.

The roasted leaves are passed through running water to which a little water has been poured; made the tamales, they are cooked with little hot water with salt, covering the pot well.

Rice tamales

The rice is washed in two or three waters, and then it is seasoned and dried in the sun; When it is well dried, it will be well roasted, weighed and half a pound of melted butter will be thrown for each pound of rice.

It will be beaten a lot by moistening the dough, if necessary, with lukewarm water, and will not stop beating until it is knitted, which is known in which a small ball formed of the dough supernatant in the water.

Then take half a pound of powdered sugar to each pound of rice, and stir well, forming tamales with it that can be filled as well I know, manjar white or any pasta, and steamed like the others.

Rice and egg tamales

After being very washed the rice is put in the sun on a napkin, and when it has dried well, it is removed, and each pound of that powder is added to four yolks of raw eggs, and six ounces of melted and cold butter.

The cream is moistened with cooked milk, and the necessary fine ground salt is poured; continue to beat, and when you want to make a point, you add the powdered sugar, feeling it on the palate; it beats even more until it is knitted, which is known when a bit of dough over water is superimposed.

Then the tamales will be formed in the corn leaves well drained and may be filled with any dessert of milk or fruit.

They will cook with the opening upwards so that they do not drain, and taking care that the water does not reach them, but that they are cooked only by steam.

In Mexican society, both at the humble and elegant tables, it is customary to serve tamales to celebrate all kinds of events, the most common being christenings, Candelaria parties, dead people, and Christmas.

Its preparation and seasoning vary according to the taste and economic resources of the host, but the base is always the same: corn dough, salted or sweet, softened with butter, beaten until reaching the "water point", which is cooked Steamed with the desired filling and wrapped in the leaves of the plant or corn cob or in banana leaves.

The new tamale dough

Salty tamales

1 kg of dough for tortillas

2 liters of chicken or beef background

500 grams of lard

40 banana leaf rectangles 25 centimeters long by 15 centimeters wide, roasted to soften them or leaves of corn

Maseca 1/2 kilo

a little Inca vegetable butter

Sweet tamales

1 kg of dough for tortillas

2 liters of fruit syrup

500 grams Butter without salt

40 banana leaf rectangles 25 centimeters long by 15 centimeters wide, roasted to soften them or leaves of corn

Maseca 1/2 kilo

a little Inca butter


TAMALLI: Certain seasoned and cooked dough wrapped in corn leaves

NIXTAMAL: corn cooked with salt and bicarbonate

HUERTA: the extensive area where fruits are harvested and another variety of foods

PUNTO DE AGUA: test that is done by putting a ball of dough in the water to check that it is the right consistency

TAYUYOS: Corn dough tortilla stuffed with beans with the traditional Copan Chili

IZOTE: flower of light and edible colors located only in some regions of Mexico.

Source: Vinculando