A person unwrapping a tamale
The Ingredient You Can Use Instead Of Masa For Tamales
Making tamales at home is easy and ideal for meal prep, since you can freeze and steam them later anytime. However, it can be hard to track down masa, the corn base for this dish.
If you can't find convenient, pre-prepared masa dough, just make it yourself using masa harina. Masa harina is a type of corn flour that turns into masa when mixed with warm water.
Masa harina is available in the Latin American aisle at many chain grocery stores. When using it for tamales, add both water and some fat for binding, like lard or vegetable oil.
To make tamales, you’ll need corn husks, filling, and masa. For the masa, mix 3 cups of masa harina with 2 ¼ cups of water or broth until it becomes a soft dough.
Next, add 1 ¼ cups of vegetable oil to a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Turn the mixer on low and gradually add pieces of the dough to the bowl as the machine mixes.
Finally, add 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 ½ teaspoons of baking powder. With your masa ready, all you have to do is fill the corn husks, roll them up, and steam the tamales to finish.