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A tamale (Spanish: tamal, Nahuatl languages: tamalli) is a traditional Mesoamerican dish, probably from modern-day Mexico, made of masa or dough (starchy, and usually corn-based), which is steamed in a corn husk or banana leaf. The wrapping can either be discarded prior to eating, or be used as a plate, the tamale eaten from within. Tamales can be filled with meats, cheeses, fruits, vegetables, chilies or any preparation according to taste, and both the filling and the cooking liquid may be seasoned.
Tamale comes from the Nahuatl word tamalli (meaning "wrapped") via Spanish where the singular is tamal and the plural tamales. The word tamale is a back-formation of tamales, with English speakers assuming the singular was tamale and the plural tamales.
3 cups masa harina for tamales
1/2 cup water
1-1/2 cups unsalted chicken stock (divided)
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp salt
8 oz lard (preferred) or vegetable shortening
3 ears fresh corn, shucked and cleaned or 1-1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed
If using fresh corn, steam for about 5 minutes, remove...