Recipe for cooking Honduran Nacatamales

The nacatamales is a complete meal of the Honduran cuisine that has years of tradition on the Honduran table.

Recipe to prepare nacatamales, a complete meal that is part of Honduran cuisine, which has been at your table for years of tradition.

Recipe for cooking Honduran Nacatamales
Recipe for cooking Honduran Nacatamales


  • 3 measures of ground corn
  • 12 pounds of rib or pork
  • 5 pounds of lard
  • 1 pound of onions
  • 1 1/2 pounds of rice
  • 4 pounds of potatoes
  • 1 pound green olives
  • 1/4 pound capers
  • 1 pound of tomatoes
  • 1 pound chickpeas
  • 1/4 pound pork rinds
  • 1/2 pound fresh bacon
  • 1/4 pound squash seed
  • 1 large can of petit-pois
  • 25 sweet and ripe chili peppers
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 1 pound of salt or whatever you need
  • 2 annatto chips
  • Chile bravos to taste
  • Laurel to taste
  • Thyme to taste
  • Oregano to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • 24 pounds of softened banana leaves You can pass them through boiling water
  • Strips of stalks to tie the nacatamales


Previous to start

  • The day before, the corn is cooked in plain water without salt, until it is hard. Chop the onions (setting aside about 2), green chilies, tomatoes and garlic. Everything is solved with the herbs (bay leaf, thyme, oregano) and a little salt and pepper.
  • The pork rib is cut into large pieces and fried in a little achiote (not much). Add the chopped onion with everything, with enough water and boil until the meat is hard. The water in which the meat was cooked is strained for the red mass (recado).

Preparation of the white mass for the Nacatamal

  • The ground corn is divided into two parts. Take one of them, melt it in cold water and strain it in a sieve, put it on the fire, stirring constantly, add some green chilies, the chopped onion and add fractions of lard.
  • Calculate that it remains oily. It is allowed to thicken and is seasoned with salt and pepper.

Preparation of the meat for the Nacatamal

  • Marinate the diced pork, with more rib than slice, onions, sweet ripe chili peppers, garlic, all ground, salt and pepper, cumin (few) and hot chili, if desired. Cooking so that the meat is soft.

Preparation of the message or red mass of Nacatamal

  • Use the other half of the ground corn, it melts in the water in which the pork rib was cooked, it is passed through a strainer (sieve) and put on the fire. Add the finely ground pork rinds and the toasted squash seed, ground and discarded in a little cold water and strained.
  • Add enough melted butter with plenty of achiote, salt and pepper, the hot peppers, finely chopped and put in a little water. Boil until well cooked and not too thick.

Instructions before wrapping the Nacatamal

  • The chickpeas are put in warm water, without salt, (If desired, peel them). They are cooked in cold water and when they are soft, salt is added until they are soft. The potatoes are made into narrow sticks and brought to a boil in hot salted water.
  • The washed rice is only fried in a little butter with achiote, onion and finely chopped chili peppers; Put tomato, salt and add the water from the petit-pois. A little cold water, if necessary.
  • Wrap the tamales with the banana leaves are bought in the market and boil until they take on a blackish color and then remove the veins from the leaves and try to cut them into squares but in case they crack or break when you are wrapping the tamale use another sheet on top; in case you can’t find banana leaves, use aluminum foil; just cut them about the size of a sheet of bond paper or depending on the size of the tamales. The veins are removed and the leaves are arranged.

Wrapping the Nacatamales

  • In the center of the sheet, put a large spoonful of dough, the size that you like the tamale; Place a tablespoon of red dough or recado, 1 or 2 pieces of rib or pork, an olive, petit-pois, capers, chickpeas, potatoes, a teaspoon of rice, and crossed 2 pieces of sweet chili and a piece of bacon fresh and finally another little errand.
  • The tamales tied with the dried crust of the plantain are wrapped and they are ready to cook; of not having the dry bark of bananas to tie them; Use a string of mescal.

Nacatamal cooking

  • Place in the bottom of the pot you put a lid or a covered plate, then put enough leaves and place the tamales in layers. It is covered with water. In three hours or so they can be cooked over high heat.


Recipe for cooking Honduran Nacatamales