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Venezuelan Pepper Tamale | mommyshomecooking.com

Easy Venezuelan Pepper Tamales

These scrumptious Easy Venezuelan Pepper Tamales are the perfect side dish for any summer supper, party, or barbecue!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Venezuelan
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings 14 -16 hallaquitas
Calories 209kcal


  • 20 dried corn husks, soaked for at least 30 minutes
  • 3/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, washed, seeded and coarsely chopped (about one bell pepper )
  • 6 small red sweet peppers, washed, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3 cups Harina Pan
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, or more to taste


Prepare The Corn Husks:

  • Soak the corn husks in a bowl of very hot water for 30 minutes or until softened.
  • After soaking, rinse and clean thoroughly. Then, drain well and pat dry. Set aside.

Prepare the Dough:

  • Melt the shortening in the microwave. Set aside.
  • Place in a blender, the chicken broth, red peppers, sweet pepper, cayenne pepper, and garlic powder. Blend on medium speed until vegetables are dissolved in the broth.
  • Transfer the broth to a large bowl and gradually add the Harina PAN. Stir constantly, with your hands or a wooden spoon, to prevent lumps. Let it stand for 5 minutes. The dough will be thickened.
  • Add melted vegetable shortening gradually and continue mixing. The mixture should have a smooth consistency, such as peanut butter, If not, add more broth, 1 -2 tablespoon at the time, as necessary. Taste and adjust salt according to your taste. Note: I usually don’t add more salt since the chicken broth add enough saltiness for our taste.
  • Take one corn husk and place about 1/2 cup of dough in the middle of it. Fold the sides covering the dough and making a kind of a roll. Tie the ends tightly, using kitchen string or raffia, just where the dough ends. Repeat the same procedure until you finish all the dough. You will come out with 14-16 hallaquitas. 
  • Fill 3/4 of a large pot (7-1/4-qt) with water. Add 2 teaspoons of salt, mix to dissolve. Bring to boil over medium heat.
  • Place the hallaquitas in the boiling water, cover, and cook over medium-low heat for 50-60 minutes, or until the mixture is no longer sticky. To test if the hallaquitas are done: Remove one and try to pull the husk off. If the husk pulls away cleanly from the hallaquita they're done. If the dough is still sticky or wet looking, cook them for 5-10 minutes longer and try again.
  • Remove tamales from the pot and place them upright in a large colander to drain excess water. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving.
    Step by Step How to Make Tamales


Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 - 7 days. You can also freeze them, and you're ready to eat them just steam the frozen hallaquitas (tamales) for 15 - 20 minutes.
Freezing Instructions: Allow the cooked hallaquitas to cool, then place them in a freezer-safe bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
Reheating: Wrap leftover or frozen hallaquitas in a few dampened paper towels and microwave until warmed through.  The wet paper towels will help them "steam" as they are reheated. Be careful when unfolding them--they will be hot! You can also steam the frozen hallaquitas for 15 - 20 minutes over the stove.

For the Cilantro Mojo Sauce recipe, click here.
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Please note that nutritional information is a rough estimate, and it can vary depending on the products used.


Calories: 209kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 355mg | Potassium: 230mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1825IU | Vitamin C: 76mg | Calcium: 41mg | Iron: 1mg