Homemade tamales. How to make Mexican Red Tamales (Tamales Rojos)

Posted by Julia G on

The “Tamales” (Tamale) is probably one of our favorite comfort food in Mexico. They are part of important holidays, parties, family celebrations, etc. You can find them in street corners or even in small bicycle carts that go around at certain times of the day announcing and selling the delicious hot tamales.

What is a “tamal” (tamale)?

A tamale is a corn dough (masa) bonded together with some kind of grease (usually lard). Inside the dough is a key filling that could be pork, chicken, beef, fish, cheese, vegetables or fruits. Then both of them (the dough and the filling) are wrapped with either a corn husk or banana leaf and then cooked on an open fire or steamed. When served, the tamale will be hot and it’s eaten directly from the corn husk or banana leaf.

There are hundreds of different tamale recipes, they represent regional gastronomic styles with their distinctive ingredients and flavors. Also, each Mexican family has its own particular flavor that is passed down from generation to generation.

Here we are presenting a recipe to prepare Tamales Rojos (Red Tamales). This video recipe is from Janet of Jauja Cocina Mexicana and is in English, so you can follow along with no problem. In her video, she will show you the step-by-step techniques for creating fluffy, rich and delicious tamales. How to prepare the perfect masa (corn dough) for tamales and how to prepare the classic filling of pork in a red salsa made with chiles guajillo, ancho and morita

Enjoy this Mexican tradition of Tamales Rojos in your next breakfast, party and family celebration! Below the video you will find the ingredients for this recipe.





  • 6 chiles guajillo
  • 1 chiles ancho
  • 6 (mild), 8 (medium) or 10 (spicy) chiles morita
  • ¼ onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • Water from cooked chiles,
  • 1 ½ tsp salt


  • 3 ½ lb pork shoulder
  • 8 cups water
  • ½ onion
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp salt


  • 1 ¼ lb corn flour for tamal + 3 cup pork stock (this creates approximately 2 ¼ lb of “masa” dough),
  • ⅔ lb lard,
  • 1 ¼ tbsp salt,
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 2 ½ cup pork stock

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