Chanchames in Corn Husks (Chanchamitos en Joloche)

“Chan-Chan” is a Mayan word made with the adjective chan, repeated twice, which means small or familiar; it also implies some sentimental attachment to it as in sweet little… In the plural form we often see the word "chanchames" and also we frequently see its diminutive chanchamito.

A Chancham de Joloche is a type of tamal wrapped in corn husks, which the Maya called “holo’ch”, so this is where the word Joloche came from. They aren’t always made with corn husks however, you can see this dish made with other types of leaves, such as banana leaves. They can be filled with poultry, pork or vegetables and they are seasoned with achiote, epazote, tomatoes, chilies and salt.

The chanchamitos are very popular in the mayan states of Tabasco, Campeche and Yucatan.

How to make Chanchamitos...

Ingredients for 6-10 people:

The stuffing:
* 3 lb. pork shoulder meat
* 1 lb. pork chops
* 5 red tomatoes,
* 1 onion
* 3 cloves of garlic
* 1 teaspoon cumin
* 1 sprig of epazote
* 1 red hot pepper
* Salt

The masa for tamales:
* 2 and 1/2 lb. corn dough for tamales,
* 1 lb. butter,
* 2 tablespoons achiote paste,
* Broth from cooking the Pork
* Corn husks,
* butter and salt


1) Slice the hot pepper, discard its seeds. Cook the pork shoulder meat in salted water and when ready take 1 cup of the resulting pork broth.

2) Separately, fry the pork chops in a skillet, and when about half cooked put the hot peppers in. Take out the pork chop and in the same skillet fry the chopped onion and tomato, cumin and garlic, and lastly add epazote leaves, season and reserve.

3) Dissolve the achiote in the cup of pork broth which we had saved from step 1. Add the pork chop meat and fried corn dough and add too slowly, the achiote dissolved in the broth, stirring well until all very well combined and the masa for tamales has taken the red color of the achiote.

4) We will steam the Chanchames in the usual way for tamales, cooking them all arranged standing up in the steamer for about one hour until the leaves come off the masa easily.

Serve these tamales with the salsa of your choice...

mexican recipes
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