Spicy Mexican Tamales for the Adventurous Eater

Spicy Mexican tamales: A fiery flavor adventure awaits! Cook the hens and pork, create a porous dough with chilhuacle, lard, and broth, wrap it in plantain leaves, steam for 40 mins. Unwrap and savor the rich, spicy delight!

Spicy Mexican Tamales for the Adventurous Eater
Tamales in the making: The spicy dough is a work of art, ready to be wrapped in plantain leaves for a flavor explosion.

If you're desiring a culinary adventure, look no further. We're diving headfirst into the world of Mexican cuisine with a recipe that's not for the faint of heart: Spicy Mexican tamales. With a combination of succulent meats, fiery chilhuacle, and a sharp technique, these tamales will transport your palate south of the border. So, put on your chef's hat, grab your apron, and get ready!


  • 2 kg of lard
  • 500 gr of chilhuacle (corn flour for tamales mixed with ground chili)
  • 250 gr of salt
  • Meat from 2 hens
  • 1 pork loin
  • The meat broth
  • 12 plantain leaves


  1. Prepare the Meat: Start by cooking the hens and the pork loin separately in salted water. The key here is to reserve the flavorful broth in which they were cooked, so don't toss it out! We'll need it later to infuse the tamales with rich, savory goodness.
  2. The Magic Mixture: Now, let's tackle the heart of the tamale – the dough. Grind the corn flour for tamales with that fiery ground chili, known as chilhuacle, and mix it with the luscious lard. This is where the fun begins; beat the dough and lard mixture with a wooden spoon. But do it in parts. You want the dough to be porous, like a sponge soaking up all that spicy goodness.
  3. Add Flavor Bombs: Once your dough is sufficiently porous, it's time to crank up the flavor. Sprinkle in the salt for a salty zing, then pour in that precious broth where the meats took a hot bath. Continue the beating until the mixture becomes thick and, you guessed it, even more porous. We're all about maximizing flavor here!
  4. Leafy Encasement: With the dough ready to roll (literally), let's talk about the wrapping. Plantain leaves are our trusty companions for this part. If you have banana leaves, you can use them too, just cut them into pieces. Spread those leaves out and get ready to fold some tamales.
  5. Steamy Finish: In a pot, add a little water and toss in some corn husks for good measure. Place your tamales on top of this cozy bed of corn leaves, and finally, cover them with a totomoxtle tapesco, which is basically a corn husk lid. It's like tucking them in for a flavorful siesta.
  6. The Wait is Worth It: Patience is a virtue when it comes to tamales. Let them steam away for about 40 minutes. This is where the magic happens. The flavors mingle, the aroma wafts through your kitchen, and the anticipation builds to a crescendo.

When those 40 minutes are up, your Spicy Mexican Tamales are ready to make their grand entrance. Unwrap them from their leafy encasement and get ready to savor a taste. The tender, flavorful meat, the spicy kick from the chilhuacle, and the rich, lard-infused dough come together in every bite, creating a fiesta for your palate.

Spicy Mexican tamales hot and ready, a culinary journey in every bite.
Spicy Mexican tamales hot and ready, a culinary journey in every bite.


  • For extra moist tamales, add a spoonful of broth to the center of each tamale before wrapping it in a leaf.
  • If you are using banana leaves, soak them in water for 30 minutes before using them. This will make them more pliable and less likely to tear.
  • If you don't have a steamer, you can cook the tamales in a pot of boiling water. Be sure to place the tamales on a rack so that they are not submerged in the water.
  • Tamales can be eaten on their own or served with various toppings, such as salsa, sour cream, and guacamole.

Spicy Mexican tamales might not be your everyday dish, but they're a culinary journey that's well worth taking. Get ready to impress your friends and family with this spicy, savory delight. And remember, the journey of making them is just as fun as the destination – a plate of piping hot tamales.