How to Roll Tamales

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(Image: Jack Hollingsworth/Photodisc/Getty Images)

With only corn husks, masa—a special dough made from dried corn, lard and salt— and assorted fillings such as meat, vegetables, spices or cheeses, you can make and serve tamales. Tamales are cooked by steaming them in broth. To ensure that your tamales don't fall apart during cooking, you have to roll and wrap them properly.

Things You'll Need

  • Corn husks
  • Water
  • Masa dough
  • Tamale filling ingredients
  • Tablespoon
  • Kitchen twine
  • Colander
  • Saucepan

Soak your corn husks in water for 30 minutes prior to rolling tamales. Flatten them out on a towel.

Spread a thin layer of masa dough over the husk with the back of a spoon. Leave the narrow end of the husk free of dough. Moisten the dough to make it easier to separate. Test your dough by dropping a small ball of it in water; if it floats, it can be used.

Add your tamale fillings over the dough. Avoid adding too much filling, which will make it difficult to roll the tamale. You should be able to bring the two sides of the corn husk together with little overlap.

Starting from one side, roll the husk over to the other side. The dough should completely surround the filling.

Fold the narrow end of the tamale over and tie it together with kitchen twine at the halfway point. Place your tamales in a colander, pointing the narrow ends downward and packing them as tightly as possible to prevent unfolding.

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