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  • Writer's pictureElise

Virtual Cookbook Club Bonus Online Exclusive!

Updated: Apr 3, 2023

We are starting to go country by country this year, and probably for a good while to come. I will continue to attempt to bring you amazing recipes that showcase something about a given culture, but I might not always find that perfect recipe to really encompasses the country better than all the others. And to top it off, especially in many of these first countries, there is a lot of colonialism and loss of indigenous culture. We will be finding a mix of both indigenous and fusion recipes in the dishes selected. If I later find something that sounds like it should be here in addition to that which I already provided, I will add it on. Get ready for some extra recipes!

 

Today's recipe comes by way of indigenous peoples of the Andes region, so Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador and Peru all have a hand in creating this recipe that predates even the Inca, each with their particular variations. You can find variations under humita en chala, humita, huminta, uminta, pamona, and any of a number of different names. Those variations that include cheese have had some influence primarily from Italian immigrants as there weren't any domesticated livestock prior to European colonizers. As with many indigenous cultures around the globe, original, pre-columbian, variations are disappearing fast. I looked far and wide but couldn't find a more authentic variation than this.


Humintas

This is the South American equivalent of Mexico's tamale. The recipe comes courtesy of chipabythedozen.com, and is a Bolivian variation with only a few.

Ingredients

  • 4 ears of fresh corn with husk

  • 50 grams butter (1/4 cup)

  • 2 tablespoons sugar

  • 1 tablespoon salt or to taste

  • 1 teaspoon of anise seeds

  • 1 cup shredded cheese (Holland cheese, or queso fresco)

  • Optional 1 tablespoon of ground chili

Instructions

  1. Carefully remove the husks from the corn and reserve them for the filling.

  2. Remove the hair from the corn, peel it by hand and reserve the cob for cooking.

  3. Grind the corn in a in a food processor. Place it in a bowl,d the sugar, salt and mix until everything is incorporated, then add the anise, melted butter and beat again until everything is incorporated. In the case that it is very liquid, the mixture can be strained a little, the consistency should be like a porridge.

  4. Choose the largest husks and cut the thick part of these, until it can be fully stretched, then place one on top of the other intersecting the widest parts (the largest and widest husk should go underneath and the smallest on top), place the filling in the center and grated or diced cheese on top of the mixture.

The assembly of the Humita:

  1. Bring the tips of the husks towards the center leaving a few centimeters to give space to the mixture, then fold the sides towards the center and finally tie with a strip of husk as well and adjust so that the mixture does not escape.

  2. In a pot, place the cobs, fill with water until it boils, then place the humintas in the water face up to prevent the filling from escaping, place the remaining humintas on top of the water, without introducing them and boil for 40 - 60 min.

Notes

  • Once cool, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

  • Freeze for up to 2 months. Heat in the microwave before consuming.

  • Calories are an approximation. It depends a lot on the cheese you use and the corn.

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